Alex Iwobi along with some youth players at Arsenal born of Nigerian descent like Arthur Okonkwo, Tobi Omole, Xavier Amaechi, Joseph Olowu, Kelechi Nwakali, and Tolaji Bola can hope to extend their club’s contracts midway and not wait until the last minutes of the deals.
Iwobi signed an improved contract this summer which takes his stint with the club to 2023.
Now Arsenal plan to end their hitherto uneasy habit of allowing their star players run down their contracts.
Former Barcelona football chief Raul Sanllehi, who is now in charge of a similar role in north London following the departure of chief executive Ivan Gazidis last month, said player’s contract “should never go the last year, as a policy”.
The Gunners last year allowed star players Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to enter the final six months of their contracts just as they did with Robin van Persie.
The club would later shatter their wage structure to hand Ozil a new contract worth £350,000-a-week, while Sanchez moved to Manchester United in January.
Arsenal are likely to lose Aaron Ramsey in similar circumstances after his offer of a new contract was withdrawn.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph Sanllehi said “In general, I do believe that a player’s contract should never go to the last year, as a policy.
“But I don’t think I am inventing the wheel. Anybody could agree on that. Normally, the contracts of the players are for five years. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to do with that player when he is in the third year, at the latest.”
Arsenal’s wage bill is increasing and the club was not willing to give Ramsey the pay rise he was seeking.
“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.
“People in which we have a high trust. In general, I would like to make that point clear. There are no decisions that are left to the last minute. When we reach a decision, it is for a reason,” Sanllehi added.