Salaries in the Premier League have skyrocketed due to the amount of money that has been poured into England’s top division by television companies.
The elite players are enjoying the riches on offer, with the top clubs desperate to retain their services and reward their ability on the pitch. Some are justified, but others are certainly not.
We’ll now look at three of the worst contracts in the Premier League with information provided by Spotrac.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) – £350k per week
Ozil was a marquee signing by the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013. However, the German has failed to live up to expectations and has epitomised Arsenal’s decline from would-be title contenders to scrapping for a place in the top six this season, being back in the latest Premier League betting odds at 5/2 to finish in a Europa League place. Ozil’s tenure at the club has been a disaster, and it’s made worse by the fact that he remains one of the highest earners in England. The German signed a new contract in 2018 over four years – worth up £350,000 per week.
It’s fair to say that his performances have not justified the expense for the Gunners. The size of his contract has prevented a move elsewhere, while Wenger and Unai Emery have paid the price with their jobs for being lumbered with the 31-year-old. Ozil’s contract is just one of the many mistakes that Arsenal have made over the last decade – it could be one that the hierarch may regret the most.
Max Meyer (Crystal Palace) – £125k per week
Palace made the move to sign Meyer on a free transfer, although they had to stump up significant wages to secure the German. In six seasons in the Bundesliga, Meyer built a fine reputation with Schalke 04, emerging as an exciting prospect as a teenager. When his contract expired with the German outfit, Meyer was a much-sought player on the market. Palace offered him a lucrative three-year deal to move to Selhurst Park.
However, their ambition has not paid off as the 24-year-old has failed to adjust to life in the Premier League. Meyer played 28 times for the Eagles last season, scoring only once and providing two assists. Matters have taken a turn for the worse this term, playing only five games for Roy Hodgson’s men – totalling 195 minutes on the pitch. Palace are not getting value for money with the midfielder.
Jack Wilshere (West Ham United) – £100k per week
Injuries have been the story of Wilshere’s career. He has all the ability in the world, but unfortunately for the midfielder, he has never been healthy for long enough to become a truly elite player. It has not stopped teams paying significant sums for his services. Wilshere had a large contract at Arsenal for five years before his deal expired in 2018. His fitness and availability should have warned off teams from pursuing his signature, but it did not stop West Ham.
They offered him a £100k per week deal for three years. Unsurprisingly, Wilshere played only eight matches for the Hammers in his first season with the club, and although he has managed the same amount this term in a slight improvement – injuries have ruled him out since October. It remains to be seen whether the 27-year-old will play again during the current campaign.
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