Arsenal have had a degenerative practice of renewing players’ contracts in the last few months or weeks they have left with him. The result are frantic rounds of hasty negotiations which deeply demotivates key players. The Director of Football at Arsenal, Raul Sanllehi has spoken up against this flawed practice this week.
Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham appointed head of football and managing director respectively, as Ivan Gazidis leaves for A.C. Milan
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 18, 2018
In an interview with the Mail, Raul Sanllehi said,
“We don’t take decisions overnight, on a quick reflection. We really go through not only a long period of thinking but also a lot of people are involved.”
“We really go through not only a long period of thinking but also a lot of people are involved. There are no decisions that are left to the last minute. When we reach a decision, it is for a reason.”
Key players like Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil have been thrown into this mess at the beginning of this season. While the German star would stay with the Gunners till the summer of 2021, Ramsey’s contract was extended for just one more season. This adds fuel to the fire of speculation that the Gunners would let him go by the January transfer window.
The Welshman has been instrumental in the Arsenal’s juggernaut performance this season with 2 goals and 3 assists; he seems to gel well with Unai Emery and can mold to any position on the field. Without him in the fray, Emery would have to get back to the drawing board for filling in his boots and Sanllehi must be aware of it.
Very poor AGAIN from Arsenal to have let Ramsey’s contractual situation get to this point (as well as Welbeck + Ozil/Sanchez/Ox last season).
Sanllehi needs to get on top of this ASAP.
But it also takes two to sign, and if Ramsey fancies a move abroad a Bosman opens more doors
— arseblog (@arseblog) September 27, 2018
Sanllehi however wouldn’t deviate from the age old Arsene Wenger era practice of staying of from the winter window for any major signings. He resonates with Wenger’s belief that the club would have a tough time to integrate the new players in the middle of the season and the club’s premiums on new players is highly unnecessary.
When asked about the January transfer window, Sanllehi said,
“I don’t believe much in the winter window.”
“There are exceptions but if you have the right planification in the summer and the team are performing at the level you expect, you should not go to that window or try to avoid it.”
Though stars like Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were roped in during last year’s winter transfer window, his stance was staunch. He added to his opinion on signing during the winter transfer by saying,
“It’s there for emergencies, a big injury or if something is really not working and you need to recover there. I give much more importance to the summer windows.”
Sanllehi would plan his gameplan for the summer transfer window with ample time in hand and by taking informed and long thought discussions. This year Arsenal have signed 5 players by breaking there piggybank for the main squad during this year’s summer window.
— Read Arsenal (@ReadArsenalFC) October 22, 2018
Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner were the foundation for Arsenal’s dream run of remaining unbeaten 11 games this season. Sanllehi said that the succes of the players in the team was due to the research and homework done from February-March and steady negotiations.
‘‘We did investment very early because we understand this market as being inflationary, so the longer you take to make the signings the higher the prices normally become”
“We did all the homework beforehand, I would say from February, March.”
Both, Sanllehi and Arsenal would like to maintain its core team of this season for the upcoming season as the crop of players are in the perfect mix of young and experienced stars. The current roster could perhaps be the winning formula to achieve the nostalgic success of “The Invincibles” under Wenger during the 2003-04 season.