The main news tonight is that the Mirror and the Mail are reporting that Arsenal are set of offer Jack Wilshere a new "bumper" contract.
Coming back from his 17 month stint on the sidelines, Jack has readily reasserted his position in the starting eleven, and why is is rated so highly as on of Arsenal and England's great hopes. The Mirror article says that:
"The new deal is likely to make Wilshere one of the club's top earners, is likely to have staggered increases and also be more than five years."
Frankly this is great news, as it shows that the board have learnt something from the whole Walcott saga - that is still developing as we speak - and, with 2 and half years left on his 50k/week contract, we are taking action quickly to tie down one of Europe's brightest prospects, and one of the leagues best players too. The deal will undoubtedly put him on a level with current high earners such as Podolski and Cazorla, and there is also talk that the deal may include a clause that will make Jack captain in the next few years.
I'm not so sure about that clause necessarily, but just looking at Jack when he's out on the pitch, completely in his element, you can sense that one day (probably when Vermaelen's stint at the club is over) he will certainly follow in the line of great leaders who have captained Arsenal football club.
Or will he.
Despite all the satisfaction I'm getting from this news, I can't help but become somewhat overcome with a sense of apprehension too. For a long time, it's been clear that the wage structure has limited us in terms of challenging for success with the true "elite" of Europe.
Our inability to offer wages over 100k/week are unheard of in today's game, and put us in the perilous position of not being able to attract established world class players to the club, and having to sell first team players each summer, as soon as they become established world class players. Similar problems are incurred from the structure rewarding players to soon, who have not necessarily "earnt" high wages, with massively inflated earnings to create an equal squad where a player like Van Persie takes home little more than Squillaci every week.
Now with Jack, this is set to be his second deal since he broke into the first team two years ago, and whilst we probably do need to tie him down now to save him from being preyed on by our rivals, there are problems with rewarding him so soon. The very fact that he is getting yet another deal highlights that his "advisers" are clever businessmen, and we all know about football agents these days. Afterall, Jack has had one full season at the club, and is already going to be one of our highest earners. What happens when he inevitably develops and gets better and is deserving of a new deal. Arsene has made it clear that his wage structure is here to stay, and we will have to wait and see what happens when Jack reaches the level that he requires a 200k/week salary. His reluctance to offer our ex captain more than 130 probably serves as an indication as to what will happen though.
We cant escape from the fact that two tears ago when Wilshere first broke into the side, we have certainly got worse. what to say that that slide won't continue as Jack goes in the other direction. i know we have the new deals to help us, but other sides are always improving as well. At the end of the day, Jack is still very young, and whilst his promises to sign a contract "for life" are great to hear as a fan, what's to say that in three years time he might have changed his mind. I know that he does love Arsenal, and is definitely desperate to repay the faith shown to him by the club during his spell on the sidelines, but then again I thought our ex captain would be like that too. At just 20 years old Jack is already, for me, our second best player, and I just pray that he doesn't outgrow the club and become too hard to hold onto. Arsene likened the midfielder to Cesc Fabregas just under a week ago following the Montpellier game, and it would be incredibly depressing to see yet another "complete midfielder" developed at the club have to leave.
Arsenal has has a painful history of selling our favourite star players, right back to Brady's premature exit to Italy to Henry's departure to Barcelona, with many in between as well as the unforgettable exits of the last few summers. Hopefully Jack will become an exception to the rule.