The news that Arsenal have offered David Luiz and other players new contracts has been met with widespread disbelief, with pundit Joe Cole even questioning who is in charge of transfers at the club.
The north Londoners will have to make gigantic strides if they want to get back to challenging for the top honours in the game, and whilst it seems that Mikel Arteta is doing his level best to build a squad capable of doing just that, Cole is wondering if decisions are being taken out of his hands.
“The one person I feel sorry for in all this is Mikel Arteta,” Cole said on BT Sport, cited by the Daily Mirror.
“Because he looks like a great coach and it looks like there is some kind of system he is trying to implement.
“We know David Luiz has been a top player and won everything in the game, but the performances this season, I don’t know who’s taking the decision to make him another year’s contract.
“Arguably one of their biggest games of the season, Arteta left him out.
“For me that’s a big signal, he’s left his most experienced player out of the biggest game against Man City – and then you give him another years contract. [It’s] muddled thinking.
“Cedric – if you’re looking to go and compete with Liverpool and Chelsea and you go and sign a 29-year-old full-back who’s arguably not played at that level where he’s regularly competing against top sides, and you’re asking him make a difference, then giving him a four-year contract.
“If I’m an Arsenal fan, I would be asking questions of Edu and the people making these decisions.
“I feel sorry for Arteta because he’s got a lot of promise as a young coach.”
At this stage of the season, there are still enough points available for the north Londoners to be able to get into next season’s Europa League by virtue of their Premier League placing.
Though a Champions League spot isn’t beyond them either, it would take a mixture of results involving the teams above them for the Gunners to be able to sneak in.
To that end, and with improvement in mind, it makes little sense to offer contracts to players who really haven’t contributed in the manner which is needed.
Whether changes are afoot across the summer, both at board and playing level, will be found out in due course.