It very much feels like a case of history repeating itself with Arsenal and their current contract crisis.

Uncertainty continues to surround the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah over whether they will extend their Emirates stays and, as it stands, the Gunners look set to worryingly lose the pair on free transfers when their deals are up next summer.

And it wouldn't be the first time Arsenal have let stars slip amid stand-offs over new deals. Alexis Sanchez was offloaded to Manchester United in a last-resort swap with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January of 2018 as the unthinkable prospect of losing the superstar for free, six months later, tied Arsenal hands.

And we're only just getting started.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has endured an alarming drop-off since signing a mega-money new deal with Arsenal last year (

Image:

REUTERS)

Back in the day, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie showed a rumbling reluctance over new deals which eventually saw both of them part for clubs either side of the Manchester divide.

Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are perhaps the most recent examples having both been embroiled in contract disputes before eventually leaving for nothing. It's quite the track record.

However, as Ozil himself proved, giving in to a player's demands and dishing out a mega-money new deal doesn't appear to be the answer either.

Following months of speculation, the German was eventually rewarded with an eye-popping £350,000-a-week deal, but after dropping off considerably following his big money payday, club and player agreed to cut ties and terminate the nightmare.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is now only adding fuel to this theory as his struggles highlight the all-too familiar dilemma the Gunners find themselves in.

For Arsenal, when it comes to contracts, there appears to be a Catch-22. They just can't seem to win.

Mesut Ozil was another who experienced a dramatic decline after agreeing to a mammoth contract (

Image:

Action Images via Reuters)

Stand firm over the selfish stance of demanding players and risk losing stars for free or cough up the cash only to see big names falter after being given frightfully big finances. Arsenal's contract curse is very much a thing.

It happened with Ozil and now it's happening with Aubameyang. The Gabonese forward got his way after Arsenal agreed to shell out a staggering sum of £250,000-a-week for his services as a three-year deal was signed in September 2020.

After becoming the first African to win the FA Cup as captain earlier that year having personally put both Manchester City and Chelsea to the sword in the semi-finals and final respectively, Arsenal made a concerted effort to ensure their contract problems from the past didn't repeat themselves.

However, the curse appears more real than ever.

Aubameyang missed a sitter against Newcastle on Saturday as his woes continued

Having finally agreed to commit his future to the Gunners, the 32-year-old forward has struggled since.

Ten goals in 29 outings across an unspectacular Premier League campaign last term has been followed up by a far-from-scintillating start so far this, as the player who netted 22 times on the way to becoming the joint-winner of the league's Golden Boot prior to claiming his improved, mammoth contract has endured a disastrous drop-off since.

And an astonishing miss against winless Newcastle on Saturday emphasised the extent of Aubameyang's confidence crisis. He looks a shadow of his former self.

Perhaps it's a case of being careful what you wish for. Perhaps the pressure piled on by the colossal contract was just too much. Or perhaps a hoodoo hangs over the Emirates, delivering doom to all those who make devilish demands.

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