#Analysis: Arsenal's Mess And Future Plans To Rebuild
Arsenal are in a total mess. The club is in disarray, inexperience overseeing inexperience and guidance difficult to unearth unless offered by those unguided themselves.
A core of talent with bright futures is one of few positives notes, including Kieran Tierney.
Regardless of how many times it’s mentioned, the scale of the task at hand can’t be understated. It truly is the most pivotal moment in the club’s history for supporters of nearly every age. A summer window of outstanding importance.
Multiple outgoings must be offset with the arrivals. Selling well in a COVID-hit market is hard enough, but adding to that the calibre of player Arsenal are trying to shift and the individual salaries these players are on exacerbate the situation.
What there is in the squad is a youthful centre that offers some modicum of hope. The talents of a few alone will not guide Arsenal out of their slump, not unless their futures are tied down and the right calibre of player around them are obtained. Simply fielding young players won’t suffice.
The first step is to secure their futures. Arsenal’s highlight of the entire season was tying Bukayo Saka down to a long-term contract. That happened last July.
Gabriel Martinelli was also signed to a similar deal, with one for Emile Smith Rowe in the pipeline and due to be announced soon enough. These aren’t smart moves, they’re imperative. Utterly essential.
Beyond there, the contract situation at Arsenal is fraught. Only 11 players in the entire squad have deals lasting beyond 2022/23 and four of them are centre-backs. Among them is Kieran Tierney, who has a contract running until 2024, and The Athletic reveal that he is likely to be rewarded with a new deal soon.
Tierney, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers, along with the academy core, are considered key elements of the future squad.
Some may cringe at the idea of two players of the Arsene Wenger era being ‘key’ members of the long-term, but this can be purely on the basis of their value and not as starters in any side, which neither are thought to be with other targets in mind. Instead, they may be viewed as homegrown options that other additions can reinforce.
Whether Tierney opts to pen a longer deal is another matter, as nobody would begrudge either a Manchester City or him if the two were to rendezvous in the future. At present he is far better than his surroundings.
Nonetheless, murmurs of such a deal in the offing is encouraging. What role the newly appointed Richard Garlick has played in the discussion of that would appear clear.
Keeping hold of the key components feels like a life jacket amid a growing storm. Some form of reassurance where there is little to cling on to. Baby steps, as they say.
By Ross Kennerley