Cole seems to be my theme of late, but this post is not about him really...
The topic of this post is a wide open door, but it has been spotted closed recently, so I figure I could use some cyberspace to violently try to kick it open.
It's not exactly a hot topic but the 5 year deal we handed Cole a few weeks ago can be used as an example, as it is in this context long term deals has been discussed lately.
Cole is a player I think is below starting XI quality, his first touch has improved but is still below par, his dribbling is non existent, his in the box abilities are questionable and he doesn't score on a regular basis but...
Signing Cole, as well as most other players, on a long term, is good business.
This gives us some much needed security, not constantly finding ourselves in a "blackmail" position when players (or at least their agent) demand a pay rise or threatens to quit since the contract runs out in less than a year. But even in a not so "blackmaily" situation, Who is in the best spot to renegotiate his contract, a player with 4 years or one with 2 years left on his contract?
The contract, nowadays, is more like options really. By having long term deals we are giving our selves some control over the player situation. We are still, most of the time, able to sell the player if finding him surplus to requirements, not risking him going on a Bosman. It's not like everyone in the PL stays the duration of his contract, is it?
We have to many under par first team players at the club at the moment, we pay their rather high salaries every week, and we are unable to find buyers for them. This could be an argument for shorter deals but the wage bill problem we find ourselves in at the moment has it's roots in the desperate situation 2 years ago. With the spending happy Eggert Magnússon at charge of the wallet we did some lousy business, but this shouldn't be taken as a sign that most long contracts are evil.
Obviously there are players that shouldn't be handed long contracts. Players past their best or known injury prone ones can be exceptions but as a rule handing a decent player a long term contact should be applauded.
Next topic: Signing players on long term deals if the PL bubble bursts can be a catastrophe...