Arsenal have lost £236m on player transfer fees in the last 10 years


They may have snapped up Martin Odegaard on loan this month but Arsenal will remember the January transfer window for offloading Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi.

Ozil was costing the club fortunes in wages as he sat at home and live-tweeted from his living room. Meanwhile, Mustafi was just costing his side points whenever he stepped onto the pitch.

While those looking after the club’s accounts will be glad to cross Ozil and Mustafi off the books, it represents a pretty hefty loss in terms of transfer fees.

Ozil signed for £42.3 million in 2013 and left for free. Mustafi arrived for £36.9 million in 2016 and left for free.

And those two players have contributed to a pretty hefty £235.6 million loss for Arsenal since 2010.

The brilliant Swiss Ramble has analysed the club’s recruitment and investigated how much they sign players for - and how much they sell them for.

Let’s take a look at just some of the players Arsenal have made a loss on in the last 10 years:

Mesut Ozil
Signed for: £42.3m
Sold for: free
Loss: £42.3m

Shkodran Mustafi
Signed for: £36.9m
Sold for: free
Loss: £36.9m

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Signed for: £30.6m
Sold for: free
Loss: £30.6m

Danny Welbeck
Signed for: £18m
Sold for: free
Loss: £18m


Santi Cazorla
Signed for: £17.1m
Sold for: free
Loss: £17.1m

Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Signed for: £14.4m
Sold for: free
Loss: £14.4m

Lucas Perez
Signed for: £18m
Sold for: £4m
Loss: £14m

Mathieu Debuchy
Signed for: £13.5m
Sold for: free
Loss: £13.5m


Petr Cech
Signed for: £12.6m
Sold for: free
Loss: £12.6m

Lukas Podolski
Signed for: £13.5m
Sold for: £2.3m
Loss: £11.3m

Mikel Arteta
Signed for: £10.8m
Sold for: free
Loss: £10.8m

Per Mertesacker
Signed for: £10.2m
Sold for: free
Loss: £10.2m


Those are just the players Arsenal have lost more than £10m on! There are numerous other players the club have made smaller losses on like Nacho Monreal, Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny.

That’s not the way to run a club. No wonder the Gunners have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and had to make 55 staff redundant.

And there are no signs that this dangerous trend will stop. Arsenal currently have £450m of transfer cost in their squad with the likes of Nicolas Pepe (£72m), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£57m), Alexandre Lacazette (£48m) and Granit Xhaka (£41m). There’s simply no way any of those players will be sold on for any profit.


Of course, there is the odd occasion where the club have made a profit in the last decade.

They signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for £21.8m more than what they signed him for. They also made a £14.3m profit on Emiliano Martinez.

But those are the only two players they’ve made more than a £10m profit on since 2010.


It’s worth noting that this study only focuses on players Arsenal have signed since 2010 and, therefore, exclude those that have graduated through their academy.

Either way, they really need to start addressing how they're recruiting players and start thinking about potential resale price when doing so.

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