Last summer, Arsenal were in a particularly difficult position, with the club having to let go of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy because the pair had less than 12 months left on their contracts and decreasing values over their heads.
Both were able to negotiate moves to Manchester City, and though Arsene Wenger fought particularly hard to keep Nasri, the loss of the playmaker came as a shock to the Gunners' manager and squad.
And now, with four big name players coming out of contract with Arsenal in 18 months, even though Wenger is chasing new targets, the manager will have some players already in the club's list on his mind this month as well.
With three big contracts expiring next summer, and one saviour on a two month loan, Arsenal will be working hard this season to make sure they show their current line up that they want to win trophies, despite having a much smaller budget than the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City.
IBTimes takes a look at how important four players really are to the Arsenal squad, with one extra who Wenger will be very carefully considering in preparation for next summer at the latest.