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5 contracts Arsenal need to address this summer

Checking in on Edu’s to-do list.

Arsenal v Everton - Pre-Season friendly Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

So far it’s been a productive transfer window for Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus, Matt Turner, Fabio Vieira, and Marquinhos, with an expected announcement of Oleksandr Zinchenko any day now. And while the club may still sign another one or two new players, there are several contract decisions looming for Edu and Mikel Arteta within the current squad.

There are a handful of contracts expiring at the end of the upcoming season, but for many of them, their fates seem rather clear. The likes of Bernd Leno, Lucas Torreira, Hector Bellerin, etc. all seem destined for new clubs by the end of August. So instead we focused on five players whose current deals need to be updated or a decision made about when and how they are exiting the club.

1 - Bukayo Saka

Contract Expires: June 2024

This is the most obvious one and the new contract fans are waiting for each day. He currently has just this season and the next left, with plenty of top clubs waiting to throw the bank at him. However, he’s stated he wants to stay at Arsenal and it sounds like the club should be able to announce a new deal before the start of the year. He’s currently on £30,000 a week, in the range of Rob Holding and Nuno Tavares. Saka should be in the top 5 on Arsenal’s wage bill, not Pepe.

2 - Gabriel Martinelli

Contract Expires: June 2024

An absolute gem of a find for under $8 million a few seasons ago. And like Saka he has just two seasons left with plenty of interested parties if he wanted to leave. Currently on £90,000 a week, it would make sense to bump him into the £120,000 range and a new four or five-year deal. However, given the focus on Bukayo at the moment, this may come during the upcoming season rather than the summer.

3 - William Saliba

Contract Expires: June 2024

From hype to questions to Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year. After a long saga, it appears as though Arsenal fans will finally get to see Saliba at the Emirates this season. While it’s hard to offer a new, long contract to a player who has yet to play in the Premier League, Arsenal will need to make a decision in the coming months. Even if to just protect the potential transfer value, Edu likely needs to get Saliba to extend his deal. If he impresses in the first half of the season, I’d expect a hard press to get him on a new long-term deal.

4 - Reiss Nelson

Contract Expires: June 2023

While Saka is the most important contract to work out, Nelson’s is the most time-sensitive of this group. Several players are entering the season in the last year of their contract. The majority of them are expected to transfer away in the coming weeks or if they remain for 22/23 then Arsenal has accepted losing them for free at the end of the year. Can Nelson contribute at the Premier League level and earn a new contract? Or is it time to sell this summer? Or does it matter what happens with a certain right-winger?

5 - Nicolas Pepe

Contract Expires: June 2024

No one is paying $88 million for Pepe. Not even half of that. But at the same time, he is on £140,000/week wages, the third highest at the club. With two years left on his contract, unless Pepe has an amazing 22/23 campaign Arsenal will be lucky to get $20-25 million for him. While most clubs are struggling with transfer funds if anyone comes with an offer they should really consider selling and utilizing Reiss Nelson this season. He isn’t getting a new contract, regardless of his performances this upcoming year, so it’s down to when can they find a club to buy or loan him.

So knowing what we know right now, if you are Edu how are you prioritizing these five contracts and what action are you hoping is the outcome?