On transfer deadline day in 2013, Arsenal made a huge move, signing German midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for a club-record fee of £42.4 million. The next year, manager Arsene Wenger authorized another big payment-£35 million to Barcelona for Alexis Sanchez. Both of those high-profile signings have proven to be good for Arsenal, with both players putting up solid numbers in terms of both goals and assists.

"Not in a Hurry"

Recently, rumors have circulated that Arsenal is working on newer and more valuable contracts for both players, to fend off interest from other clubs and keep them at Emirates Stadium for the long term. British newspapers have focused heavily on the two players and their possible "bumper contracts" in recent weeks, with some writers speculating that a bump for Sanchez could make him the highest earner at Arsenal-a title currently held by Ozil.

Arsene Wenger, though, says that the papers are getting ahead of themselves and that Arsenal hasn't started talking with either Ozil or Sanchez about contract extensions. Both players, as he noted, will have two and a half years left on their contracts come the end of the year.

"We have some time," he said in a press conference. "We are not in a hurry. We want of course for them to stay in the club, and we'll start negotiations at some stage, but at the moment we have not started."

Impressive Ozil

It's not difficult to see why soccer pundits would expect big contract extensions for either of these two players. Sanchez was Arsenal's leading goalscorer last season, netting 16 goals and leading the Gunners to
a third-place Premier League finish.

Ozil, meanwhile, has scored just 14 goals total in his two and a half seasons at Arsenal, including 10 Premier League scores. However, the German midfielder has never been known for his high scoring tallies, but rather for his penchant to serve as a team's core playmaker. With Real Madrid, Ozil was a huge asset, dependably providing double-digit assists season after season. In fact, when Ozil made his move to Arsenal, Cristiano Ronaldo was upset about it, simply because the German midfielder knew how to create the opportunities that allowed Ronaldo to score goals and shine.

With Arsenal, Ozil hasn't been nearly as effective, providing nine assists in 2013 2014 and just five last season. (To be fair, Mesut missed a significant portion of the 2014 2015 season due to a knee injury.)

Ozil seems to be returning to his former levels of greatness with the 2015 2016 season. So far, he's provided 10 assists in the Premier League and actually set a league record for being the first player to provide assists in six consecutive matches. His strong level of play (along with Sanchez' continued success in finding the back of the net) has pushed Arsenal up the Premier League table and made the Gunners into legitimate title contenders for the new season.

Perhaps Ozil will make it back onto the Ballon d'Or shortlist this year, after being absent from it in 2014. The German midfielder was shortlisted for the prestigious award four times in consecutive years, from 2010 to 2013, but never made it into the top 10. With his 2015 2016 season going the way it is, this could feasibly be his year-though of course, there's plenty of competition from the likes of Ronaldo, Barcelona's front three, Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, and others.

An Arsenal Dynasty

While Arsene Wenger said that Arsenal aren't thinking about new contracts for Ozil or Sanchez just yet, expect to see news about extensions within the next month or too. Wenger has had a long period of success with Arsenal, keeping the football club in the Premier League's top five, even as other soccer squads have been less consistent. However, in the past few years, he's built a dynasty of great players at the club-players he'll want to keep around for the foreseeable future. Ozil and Sanchez are at the top of that list.