It’s natural to ensure your best players are well paid to keep them happy and under a long contract to fend off the competition. The last thing you want is to lose a big name on a free. Manchester United’s star keeper David de Gea looks set to join the list of world class talent moving for next to nothing.

Lesson learned by managers and chairman up and down the country. Get pen to paper asap. Weird though how we are now seeing a number of players signing contracts that will surely out date their form. Sunderland signed Lee Cattermole up to a 5 year contract. A player they were close to selling in Paulo Di Canio’s tenure is now set to stay until 2021. Who knows what division Sunderland will be in a few years time, or a few months for that matter. How can they sign up a player for so long? I can’t imagine it was to keep away other clubs from swooping in. Di Canio tried hard to shift him 2 years ago and no one took him up on the offer. They aren’t alone. Aston Villa have given Ciaran Clark, Ashley Westwood and Leandro Bacuna all 5 year deals. Who knows where they or Villa will be in a few years time?

It’s a risky game signing up average players on big deals. Just ask Queens Park Rangers. They’re wage bill in the Premier League was the sixth highest. Their players were over-paid and underperforming. They should be a cautionary tale to most of the Premier League.

Contracts aren’t always worth the paper they are written on, of course. Luis Suarez signed a new deal at Liverpool in December 2013 before departing 7 months later. However when the player wants to sit on his backside, or there are no decent clubs looking at him, you bet he’ll honor every last year of that contract. A classic example is with Tottenham Hotspur who are struggling to offload Emmanuel Adebayor. The striker signed a lucrative contract at White Hart lane and is unwilling to drop his terms. Too right – if you’re on £150,000 are you really going to leave and earn half that. You’d need your head tested.   

A decent player on a big deal will be money in the bank. Good news if he stays, money if he goes. A player who will decline in a few years with big wages coming in, will stick around like a bad smell. Clubs should think about the expiry of the player as much as the expiry of his contract.