Search Menu

Arsenal’s Transfer Policy: The Facts and Figures

Share

cazorla podolski Arsenals Transfer Policy: The Facts and Figures

Arsene Wenger has often been criticised for his transfer policy as Arsenal manager. Some fans have suggested that he doesn’t spend enough considering Arsenal’s dominant financial position in the English game.

So where is the money going? Arsenal fans are paying more than ever before to watch their team play and they have been forced to see a large number of the club’s best players leave and go to play for rivals.

Here is the proof of Arsenal’s transfer activity; winter against summer from the last five years and whether this has drastically changed as the cost of watching the side has increased.

Summer 2006

The biggest record transfer that Arsenal made in the summer of 2006 was the arrival of Denilson from Sao Paulo for £3.4 million.

In total the club signed five players while allowing ten players to leave the club meaning a difference of exactly half.

This summer period also includes one of the most questionable transfers Arsene Wenger has ever made as Ashley Cole left the club for Chelsea in a deal where William Gallas joined the Gunners along with £5 million.

Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp and Sol Campbell also left the club in the summer of 2006.

Winter 2007

Arsenal fans may have expected some solidity in January 2007 via the form of some winter reinforcements. However, they did not spend a single penny in this period.

Instead, five more players left the club in various permanent transfers and loan deals; Anthony Stokes, Seb Larsson, Joe O’Cearuill, Lauren and Alex Song.

The profits were starting to grow by the end of the month, but a trend had seemingly been created which would carry on right up to the current day.

Summer 2007

Arsenal finished fourth at the end of the 2006-2007 season with pressure on Arsene Wenger to make some big and important signings.

He did, with a record £16.5 million minimum spent on the arrivals of Lukasz Fabianski, Eduardo Da Silva, Havard Nordveit, Bacary Sagna and Lassana Diarra.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, the emphasis was once again on profit with a higher ratio of players leaving including the £16.8 million transfer of Theirry Henry to Barcelona and the departure of Jose Antonio Reyes.

Arsenal made a recorded profit of just under £4 million in the summer of 2007, not taking into account the undisclosed fees transfers.

Winter 2008

January 2008 presented Arsenal with a chance to consolidate ahead of the second half of the season but they made only one signing with Wenger bringing in Luke Freeman from Gillingham in a deal worth £200,000.

They continued to allow key players to leave the club with Diarra sold to Portsmouth for £5.5 million just a matter of months after originally joining the club. Mathew Connolly was the only other permanent transfer as he joined QPR with three players leaving on loan deals.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Arsenals Transfer Policy: The Facts and Figures

Summer 2008

The summer of 2008 once again brought a mixture of hope and pessimism for Arsenal fans with investment in first team players countered by more key stars leaving for European rivals.

Wenger made two of his best signings as Arsenal boss in this summer with £5 million spent on the acquisition of Aaron Ramsey from Cardiff City and £11 million spent on Samir Nasri from Marseille, all very positive.

However, again Arsenal allowed key players to leave the club with Mathieu Flamini running down his contract and joining AC Milan for free, Alexander Hleb sold to Barcelona for £12 million and Gilberto Silva allowed to leave for £1 million.

Three key midfielders at the time allowed to leave and replaced with one teenager and one established French player. However, Arsenal did improve on their finish from the previous season, just four points away from Manchester United.

Winter 2009

Arsenal seemingly broke with tradition for the January transfer window of 2009 when Wenger shelled out £10 million for high profile signing Andrey Arshavin from Zenit St Petersburg.

It was a seemingly positive signing and Arsenal fans were rewarded in their calls for the club not to axe key stars as only a handful of youth team prospects were allowed to leave the Emirates and join other sides on loan.

This is one of the only transfer windows under the reign of Wenger where Arsenal have reported a loss in terms of transfer spending against income.

Summer 2009

Arsenal finished fourth at the end of the 2008-2009 to continue their tradition of making it into at least the Champions League play-off places.

Amazingly Arsenal didn’t try to consolidate and build on their league position with Thomas Vermaelen the only signing the club made that summer for £10 million from Ajax.

The departures once again stacked up and included the collective £41 million transfer fees paid by Manchester City for the club’s key striker Emmanuel Adebayor and key defender Kolo Toure.

Arsenal also sent five players out on loan and allowed to players to leave on free transfers including Rui Fonte who currently plays for Espanyol in La Liga.

Winter 2010

The winter period of 2010 was uneventful although it did include the return of Sol Campbell as Wenger acted against his natural instincts and brought a player he sold back to the club.

The club also invested an undisclosed fee in Samuel Galindo from Real America while allowing Kerrea Gilbert and Jack Wilshere to go out on loan to other sides over the second half of the season.

This was another rare period where Arsenal spent more than they made on transfers.

Summer 2010

Summer 2010 meant more of the same for Arsenal fans with ticket prices going up and the transfer policy staying exactly the same as three players signed for the club and five players left the club permanently.

Marouane Chamakh arrived on a free transfer from Bordeaux while the club spent just over £13 million solidifying the defence with Laurent Koscileny and Sebastien Squillaci signing long term deals.

By this stage it’s clear that an obvious pattern had emerged between Arsenal’s transfer policy, the emphasis on allowing more players to leave the club and the effect this was having on the club’s league position.

Winter 2011

Winter 2011 saw another mass exodus of players with nine players going out on loan and one player leaving on a free transfer. Ryo Miyaichi arrived for an undisclosed fee as a free agent but was instantly sent out on loan.

The winter 2011 period is very similar to a lot of other Wenger/Arsenal winter transfer windows in the respect that the club didn’t try and do any big business in terms of players coming or going.

Summer 2011

The summer 2011 transfer window saw one transfer which still disappoints current Arsenal fans; the departure of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona for a fee of just over £25 million. Gael Clichy was also allowed to leave for £7 million as he joined Manchester City along with Samir Nasri who joined City for £25 million.

How did Arsenal react? Gervinho signed for £10.5 million from Lille, the club invested £7 million in Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain and three further high profile signings were made; Andre Santos for £6.2 million, Per Mertesacker for £9 million and Mikel Arteta for £10 million.

For some reason there was still a clear reluctance to spent money with Wenger opting for experience and makeshift replacements over attempts to sign superstars, called for by the fans.

The Emirates Stadium1 Arsenals Transfer Policy: The Facts and Figures

Winter 2012

Winter 2012 saw the return of a club legend as Theirry Henry arrived on loan from the New York Red Bulls. He was the only arrival as the club yet again let a whole host of youngsters go out on loan with Luke Freeman joining Stevenage on a permanent deal.

Remarkably similar to the winter periods of the last five years with a clear trend developing.

Summer 2012

Arsenal once again lost two key players in the summer of 2012 with Robin Van Persie joining Manchester United for £24 million and Alex Song joining Barcelona for a fee of £15 million.

Wenger knew he had to respond to pacify fans that were starting to call for his resignation and he did so with Santi Cazorla from Malaga for £16.5 million, Olivier Giroud from Montpellier for £13 million and Lukas Podolski from Cologne for £11 million.

Conclusions

The overwhelming trend which can be taken from Arsenal’s winter v summer transfer policy from the last five years is that Wenger does not like to do business during the winter transfer window.

The thing which will annoy Arsenal fans is the fact that key players have left the club and have not been replaced with similar calibre players. The club has routinely spent less than it has made in transfer windows.

Wenger seems to be investing money into younger players and more experienced players as he seeks a combination between the two which will set the side up and transform it over the next few years.

The main reason for Arsenal’s lack of silverware since 2005 is that the best players have left and have not been instantly replaced but the transfer policy of the club has been shrewd, against over spending and planned.

Arsenal fans won’t like it but the proof of the pudding is there for all to see.

Football Expert? Prove it! Share your knowledge, tips and comments. Win cash prizes - £11,000 monthly! Join OLBG's free-to-enter tipping competition.

Comments (22)

  1. Since the sheiks came, the football landscape has changed.Wenger is banking on ffp to level the playing field.RVP ‘s exit has significantly weakened the gunners .During the years 1998 to 2005,the top players could have been lured away by red faced but chose to stay because they were winners and won trophies.
    Since then it’s adifferent story.
    Forbes have rated Arsenal the 4th/5th richest club in ws.This could no longer be the case if the gunners continue to stagnate. The waiting list for season tickets could soon be a mere shadow of the former numbers.
    To prevent the rot setting in,the board have to take decisive action. If the gunners can’t get the cl slot,the fm has to go. It’s obvious his plan aint working and it will be more of the same which means the gunners aint competitive.This could cause sponsors to think about the Arsenal brand. It’s a well known brand even in the remote village in Malaysia.Wenger has allowed it to fall further behind.

  2. Wenger is d problem arsanal have arsenal is a good club wen u sale play u replace it wit a better one. For d past 6 year now noting to show wenger must go n luck 4 a replcement mnanager dat can get us better player

    • Where do I start with this comment? Leaving the appalling grammar aside, where do you expect this new manager to get these players from, the ether? The problem is not Wenger, the problem is the board / Gazidis and Kroenke who refuse to fund these new players you talk about, we’re consistantly linked with players like Mata/Hazard etc…the player wants to come but the board drag their feet and they go elsewhere. Name me a manager that would come to Arsenal that is better or has a better track record than Wenger? The likes of Guardiola are pie in the sky, they’ll never come. So that leaves you with the likes of Moyes who you wouldn’t want! It’s time for the board to come clean with regard their “profits over trophies” stance and loosen the purse strings to let Wenger strengthen the squad. Rest assured if we don’t qualify fo the Champion’s League it will be a slippery slope to regain a Champion’s League place, just look at Liverpool!

      • Are you daft? How many times has the board said that there is money to spend if Wenger wants it? How many times has Wenger said himself he has money to spend, but he ‘will only spend it on quality’? The board is a problem, yes, but Wenger is also a major part of the problem because of his delusional stance on his own squad. Wenger is as much to blame as any one in the board.

        • Are You daft? Wenger has confirmed we can’t afford the wages of these players like Mata/Hazard. You think that’s up to him?

      • Seriously? The writer obviously isn’t a native speaket. Cut him/her some slack.

  3. I am of d oppinion dat Arsene Wenger should b sacked wit immediate effect,4 he has proven 2 d world dat he is just coaching Arsenal 4 profit sake nt 4 winnin trophies.4 abt 8 seasons he has nt won any trophy and u can c by his attitude he’s nt ready 4 it,so as a DIE HARD Arsenal fans we said”ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”we don’t want him any more,go Mr WENGER.Hussain 4rm Nasarawa state Nigeria.

  4. looking back at yesterday’s game shows what da problem is. AW has not replaced nasri, fab, song, RVP etc… MC had 5 top players missing, yet easily bt Ars. You just gotta look at the silly money spent by clubs like MC, Chelski, and MU. There’s always Barcelona pinching the best Ars players evry other season, that’s also not on. The problem is a complex one involving ownership issues, club politics, unsuitable players and so on. However, one thing is clear, unless Ars win 1 or 2 trophies within summer 2014, Ars. the brand will suffer severely. All that transfer profits won’t make profits on the income sheet. Bcoz U can’t charge supporters 100 pounds and visiting fans 62 pounds, and then put in a rubbish display on the field. Clever commercial moves can be a short term solution, but never a long term one. Bcoz the club was formed to win things, but also to play attractive football etc

    In my opinion, bring in other investors, who r willing to put their money where their mouth is. And ofcourse, that’s enough said.

  5. Wenger is a cancer, he should be sacked immediately while there is still time to buy some good players this window and save the club.

    If this goes any further we may never make it back to the top.

    Wenger out now!

    • sack wanger, why he is taking time to buy players? Money belongs to the club not you own. When you loose a good player try to balance with similar or better to move forward. Now Wenger is not doing it trying to save money for the Board’ sprofit, Hope he will be wise by now or sack him and get the best manager

  6. yes there is

    • The club as a whole is not being truthful about wat is happening,they all know wat they are doing making profit n splitting it between themselves,cos no body has been the fall guy for not winning anytin,if wenger is to blame sack him but no way he is making money for them

  7. Arsenal Wanger he is the problem to Arsenal. If the board change in that then Arsenal will be the best team in the premier league.

  8. We are tired of today Arsenal

  9. Why is it so difficult for Wenger ……we need good defenders good attackers etc ?
    He wants to play like Barca with midgets ? this is aproblem for me ….. when we won things we had giants but skill steel winning mentality we werent chasing money neither were our players ….they played f for us cause they love it ….!!! He never replaced the roughneck defenders he never replaced the great Viera he doesnt want stars or rough necks he wants ballet dancers who are weak but play pretty triangles these arent roughneck men who will win u a game a final atrophy they will not go to freezin BRADFORD an knock sixteen bells out of them and have tremendous skill like BERK HENRY PIRES VIERA VBROKHURST EDU SILVA real players not boys ……We need a balanced team we dont have it and dont have a squad either we barely have 11 good men nobody fears us not even Bradford ..SWANS ETC WE NEED WANYAMAS not M,villa ,we need Papa Diop or Diame …Wengers scouts an his choices are shit !!!
    We will probably lose against SWANSEA AND END UP 5 OR 6TH IN THE PREM I HOPE SO….. SO THEY HAVE A RETHINK AT THE CLUB AND CHANGE MANAGER FOR A WINNER NOT AN ACCOUNTANT …….EXCUSES DONT WORK IN LIFE JUST WINNING LIKE MOURINHO FERGUSON THESE WANT TO WIN AND WILL DO ANYTHING TO WIN AND IF THEY DONT THEY COME BACK STRONGER NEX YEAR AND WIN NOT COME UP WITH SHITTY EXCUSES !!!!! PROBLEM IS WENGER MAKES MONEY WITH HIS LOW COST STRATEGY AND THE BOARD LOVE THAT ….BUT WHEN THAT STRATEGY KEEPS FAILING THAT IS A PROBLEM FOR WENGER AN THE ARSENAL BOARD ……THEY WILL HAVE TO SPEND REAL MONEY TO GET BACK TO THE TOP IF ANYONE IS EVEN STILL BUYING A TICKET FOR THE EMIRATES THEN !!!!

    • PS :
      OUR DEFENDERS ARE MIDGETS TOO !! APART FROM MERTSAKER WHO IS SHIT ……WHY DIDNT WE BUY BOTH SAMBA AND CAHILL WHO WERE AS IT HAPPENS GOOD BLOODY QUALITY BARGAINS !!!!
      VERMALEN KOCELNY ARE SHIT AND THEIR V SMALL TOO NOBODY FEARS THEM ON CORNERS …WAKE UP WENGER YOUVE TURNED INTO RIP VAN WINKLE …..
      OUR CLUB CAN’T ATTRACT ONE DECENT PLAYER JUST C – LISTERS
      JULIO CESAR BRAZIL NO 1 KEEPER WENT TO QPR B4 US !!! SAHIN WENT TO LIVERPOOL B4 US !!!!…LIVERPOOL ARE NOT EVEN IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE !!!!….OH AND THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WHY ARE PEOPLE GONG HO ABOUT US FINISHING IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TOP 4 SPOT …..IF WE DO FINISH IN TOP 4 ( HIGHLY UNLIKELY)
      WE HAVENT GOT A CHANCE IN HELL OF WINNING IT THIS YEAR LAST YEAR ANY YEAR ITS JUST THE MONEY IT GENERATES THATS IT …ITS A TOTAL SHAMBLES AT ARSENAL WE DONT BUY PLAYERS THAT CAN WIN US THE CARLING CUP MUCH LESS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE !!!!!
      ….IF WE BOUGHT ONE OR TWO MARQUEE TOP PLAYERS EVERY YEAR 25 MILLION EACH WE WOULD HAVE A TOP SQUAD BY NOW INSTEAD OF SELLING TWO THREE TOP NOTCH PLAYERS THEN BUYING 6 BARGAIN BASEMENT PLAYERS FOR 42 MILLION QUID A WASTE OF GOOD MONEY THEN WE CANT EVEN SELL THEM ON …..!!!!. WHEN YOU HAVE TOP QUALITY YOU CAN ATTRACT TOP QUALITY !!! NOBODY REALLY OUTSTANDING EVEN WANTS TO PLAY FOR US NOW ESPECIALLY FOR 40K PER WEEK ….. YOU GENERATE MONEY NOT ONE WAY BUT SEVERAL WAYS ….OTHER WAYS OF GENERATING MONEY IS BY WINNING TROPHIES !!!!! BY SMART INVESTING CONTINUOUS INNOVATION NOT BUYING AT THE POUNDSTORE !!!! CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT OF THE BRAND NOT BY LETTING THE BRAND SHRIVEL AND DIE A LONG DEATH !!!

  10. To save arsenal from this predicament, Wenger should be sacked. We can not torlerate this anymore. Arsenal board should sack him and sign a manager that can win trophies and not top 4 maintality.

  11. I wonder why fans still support d fm somebody said he should be sack most fan desagree now wat has he done for us since yrs back. am telling u if dis team is being handle by an experience man like pep g THEY WILL PERFORM

  12. If by ‘pudding’ you mean a consistent 4th place finish you are correct. Avoiding marquee signings and making profitable transfer rounds is prudent and would earn love from the fans if the team performed well.
    What has happened, instead, is that both the players and fans have become painfully aware that the players in the team are just seen as €€’s and that the only ‘ambition’ Wenger has for the team is to continually qualify for the Champions League to maintain their nice appearance & tv income from there.

  13. Liv d poor wenger alone, he’s afraid 2 buy cos he knws d pressur 2 win a trophy wil accumulate more on him. he’s rada comfotable wit fans cryin 4 him 2 complement d team wit gud signings cos he knws evn @ d@, he’s stil incapable of winning a trophy.

  14. Harry Redknapp please. Ex spurs yes but at least he will buy winners and get rid of fancy nothings, get me.