Arsenal fans were left frustrated by the club’s business in the January transfer window.
In a post-window Tiermaker ranking every Premier League club’s January activities, we placed the Gunners in the bottom tier – called ‘Absolute disaster’ – following a month in which their squad depth to a massive hit.
Arsenal missed out on signing Dusan Vlahovic and Arthur Melo. They let Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave on a free transfer and also loaned out a string of players, including Ainsley Maitland, Calum Chambers and Pablo Marí.
As if the battle to finish in the top four wasn’t difficult enough, Mikel Arteta will do very well to lead his thread-bare squad to a Champions League spot.
Spotty transfer business
Arsenal’s budget isn’t as strong as some of their rivals and that places extra importance on their recruitment policy.
But the Gunners’ transfer activity in recent years has been extremely spotty. They’ve made some decent signings, including Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Kieran Tierney, but Nicolas Pepe is proving to be an expensive flop.
And even more concerning is the number of players that have been allowed to leave for free.
Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Shkodran Mustafi all left the Emirates Stadium for free.
When you consider some of the transfer fees Liverpool have received in recent years, including a total of £121.5 million for Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke, Mamadou Sakho, Danny Ward, Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings, and it’s easy to understand why Arsenal fans are so confused.
Brilliant thread on Arsenal’s player sales
Is it just serious mismanagement or have Arsenal been forced into this position?
The ever-brilliant Swiss Ramble has explored the issue in an eye-opening Twitter thread.
They begin: “Following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona, questions have again been asked about Arsenal’s recruitment policy, as the club has once more left a lot of money on the table after the free transfer of an expensive purchase.”
Swiss Ramble then looks at the players Arsenal have sold in the last five years, leading to a loss (in cash terms) of £163 million.
Arsenal’s players sales are then compared to those of their Premier League rivals.
Arsenal’s £163m loss is topped only by Manchester United. But Swiss Ramble points out that the Gunners’ commercial revenue isn’t anywhere close to United’s.
“It’s fair to say that Arsenal’s poor record on player trading has still hurt Arsenal financially with consequences for the club’s ability to compete,” Swiss Ramble concludes.
Click HERE to read the thread on Twitter.