Arsenal appear to be spending rather a lot of money




By Tony Attwood

10 years ago Untold Arsenal ran the headline Half of Arsenal’s mid-field and attack will be different next season and the talk at that time was of a midfield that read


Arteta Wilshere

while in attack we were talking about…

Oxlade Chamberlain  Van Persie   Podolski

As for the back-ups and changes that could be made from the bench we noted that Gervinho, Walcott, Ramsey and Rosicky were all available.

So the talk is of all the newcomers, but there is also a sudden change in the transfer rules which apply from now on.  Following Chelsea’s attempt to get around the Financial Fair Play rules by putting players on very long contracts that has now been stopped.

In the past a player’s value was written down across the length of his contract.  This meant that players put on eight-year contracts would have only half the impact on the level of expenditure for FFP purposes than those on a more normal four-year deal.

The reason clubs have not generally implemented eight-year contracts is because it gives the clubs an obligation to pay the player over that length of time – which is a danger if either he gets a serious long-term injury, loses form, is found never to have had the form anticipated or a new manager comes in and thinks he doesn’t fit into the new plan.

But Chelsea have not cared for such detail, merely wanting to get around the FFP implications of their huge expenditure.  So Uefa have put a stop to that.  No matter how long the contract, no fee can be spread across more than five years for the purposes of calculating FFP.

The arrangement is not retrospective so Chelsea have got away with it over Fernández and Mudryk who are both on eight-and-a-half-year deals – although it will be interesting to see if Mudryk does come good.

Anyway, back with Arsenal who appear to have confirmed that they are paying £105m for Rice and £65 for Havertz.

The signings have been greeted positively by the media with the Telegraph saying Mikel Arteta and Edu have earned the right to risk £65m on Kai Havertz, in which they note that, “Encouragingly, there are several occasions where Arsenal manager has got the best out of a player who is far from their potential.”

So we are looking at a team that might be


Timber, White,  Saliba, Zinchenko

Rice, Odegaard, Havertz

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Which compares with the opening game for last season – the three changes are in bold


Gabriel, White,  Saliba, Zinchenko

Xhaka, Odegaard, Partey

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Very interestingly the media are starting to turn not on Arsenal players and Arsenal management, as they traditionally have done, but now on Arsenal supporters.   And while Untold was constantly critical of Arsenal fans during the days of the AAA I am not sure this is warranted in terms of last season.

Their argument is that “When Ben White joined from Brighton for £50 million, a large section of the Arsenal fanbase was alarmed by the size of the fee. When Martin Odegaard signed for £30 million in that same summer, there was disgust from those who wanted James Maddison instead. Such was the dissatisfaction with the £24 million move for Aaron Ramsdale, the goalkeeper received horrific online abuse and was sent threatening messages.”

Yes there are always some (particularly some who don’t attend games) who criticise players for not being at the standard that these “supporters” demand, but mostly they are led on the scurrilous scallywags in the media who themselves created what we called the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal.   You can read up on them through that link if you are interested.  (But of course I am not trying to excuse any abuse of any player – I’m just reflecting on the origins of the discontent among fans that leads to the abuse).

So will we be seeing any more arrivals?  Jurrien Timber from Ajax is often talked about.  He’s a centre-back and right-back, which raises the question, how many centre-backs and right-backs do we need?  Although of course if you want a full list there are the 36 players joining Arsenal; 22 leaving the club, and next season’s line up.

As for getting these signings done quickly, that seems like a really good idea to me.  Artetea’s plan clearly is to sign players and then modify their approach to playing in a different role to fit in with the Arsenal approach, and to allow them to maximise their own potential.   

Such a job takes a bit of time, and so is much better done in the training sessions and practice games in July and August rather than in actual matches in August and September.


7 Replies to “Arsenal appear to be spending rather a lot of money”

  1. Arsenal have changed the way they buy and sell players. If you want facts here they are. The structure of the deal for Rice was already part agreed between West ham and Arsenal which was the initial £75 million, but the add-ons was the stumbling block. The add-ons have now been changed and agreed. This is together with the pre agreed initial £75 million is £10 million for each of the first 3 winter years of a 6 year contract but *without conditions*, the 7th year optional. Total is £105 million. Kai has a similar structure deal but with added minor conditions. That is £50 million plus £5 million for each of the first 3 years of a 6 year contract with 7 th year optional. Total £65 million. My friend works in the admin team, but I cannot mention her name. The structure for Kai will be announced first then Rice within 9 days. Personally i dont think he is worth it, but time will tell. They will also sell their players in a similar structured way to get the maximum capital for thieir players from financial difficult teams.

  2. I’m not sure Rice is worth the same as all of Burnley myself. I would have preferred we kept Partey and bought Fofana from Marseille or Lavia and work either of them into the team gently with Jorginho as backup. I am guessing Arteta just decided “no more mister nice guy” and went for the Rice. The Smith can back up Havertz or the skipper with Veira loaned out to bulk up. meanwhile, Nelson or Trossard can back up Saka and Martinelli.

    Two years from now Nwaneri will be Ode’s backup while Miles Lewis-Skelly will be waiting on Zinchenko. Hopefully we are growing a striker in the youth teams, preferably of the Osimhen type. With Ben White and the tree substituting for each other and Saliba it looks like all holes in the squad have been plugged, assuming Tierney gives us time to mature Miles. Trossard, what a player, may have to make way for Amario Cozier-Duberry in two.

    If we can’t win with this team we’ll just have to wait until Pep quits. But I think we can.

  3. I agree Reg – I would the that the tree would have to earn his place first but then you can rotate with any two from the three of White, Saliba and Timber. Don’t forget that we do not know what shape Saliba is going to come back in as backs can be difficult to heal properly,

  4. Already all over social media & the BBC’s HYS fans of clubs owned by Middle East states are shouting from the roof tops and will continue to do so all during and to the end of the season in 2024, that Arsenal (a privately owned company) & Arteta have spent more than their clubs (by judiciously choosing the dates & not since ownership). And if a miracle should happen over N7 & Arsenal win the PL the chant will go up from said fans, “You bought the title” conveniently forgetting a private company is competing against oil states with unlimited finances.

  5. Am quite content with the way we went about our business of preparing the squad for next season. While I really don’ t know what is in store as per their respective positions , I think Arteta has the idea in his mind . I will go along with his plans , rather than what morons on the internet say.

    Just cannot wait for the season to start . I truly enjoyed last season , and hope we do even better this time around .
    Up the Gunners !

  6. @Adrian
    Arsenal use debts to buy the current lot of players. What make you so different then Man City who you used to criticise as being fiscally irresponsible?

    I mean Declan Rice. You guys think 105 million will really propel you to the next level.

    And if Man City continues their tradition. Why would they not win titles if pep is gone?

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