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By Tony Attwood
According to Football Observatory the most valuable player in the world is Erling Haaland who is currently valued by that research site at €245.1m. But you probably knew or could guess that.
Second at €196.3m is Vinícius Júnior of Real Madrid. And third is …. Bukayo Saka, of whom you may have heard. He is valued at €195.8m – which is of course all notional profit since he didn’t cost anything.
And some people like to suggest that Arsenal were lucky in that regard, except that the club has a good reputation for treating youngsters well, and bringing them through to their highest potential which is why they pick up so many top quality young players.
The next Arsenal player on the list, at €182.9m, is Gabriel Martinelli who comes in at number 12 on the overall list of player values across the world. And that is interesting in that in that top dozen there are only the players of two Premier League clubs: Arsenal and Manchester City and each have two players listed. (The Manchester City players are Haaland and Foden in first and ninth position).
Real Madrid have three players in the top 12, FC Barcelona have two, and all the others (including PSG) have one each. Other Arsenal players turning up near the top of the list are Martin Odegaard at position 24 in the table with a value of €88m, Gabriel Jesus at 32nd in the table, with a value of €82.1m and Aaron Ramsdale at 37 with a value of €78.6m. And Ramsdale is interesting because he is, according to this listing, the most valuable goalkeeper in the world. I don’t think Sheffield United realised this when they sold him for £53m.
So let’s ponder for a moment those four players and how much they cost Arsenal – these prices are in Euros as that is the currency Football Observatory uses for consistency throughout its work.
Now of course different sources can quote different values for players and throughout I have merely quoted the most commonly cited costs and values of players as shown on various internet articles. And as we all know, a crippling injury can reduce a player’s value overnight.
But these levels of profit are particularly unusual for a single club to gather, and are undoubtedly helping Arsenal balance the books in terms of financial fair play regulations. They also go a long way to explain why Arsenal rose from fifth to second last season, while the media at large were contemplating at best a holding onto fifth or even a decline to sixth for the club. These journos really ought to learn to pay attention (or alternatively read Untold Arsenal). (Although the alternative that the journalists had persistently drunk too much in the Toppled Bollard public house also remains a possibility).
Of course, a profit of €328.68m is only notional in the sense that Arsenal are clearly not going to sell any of these players, but it helps explain how and why the owners of Arsenal are willing to spend yet more money this summer. Arteta’s record is unbeatable when it comes to transfers.
At the moment the media are only quoting Kai Havertz as having come into Arsenal this summer for £65m from Chelsea, but everyone is expecting the announcement of more transfers soon.
Football London tell us West Ham United captain Declan Rice has now moved for a club-record £105million, as well as Arsenal signing defender Jurrien Timber from Ajax – who will cost an initial £34.2million with a further £4.3million in add ons, Mind you we always have to put Football London headlines with a gigantic asterisk, as with “Tierney signs for Newcastle, Smith Rowe to Aston Villa” which they ran on 29 April this year
Sky Sports are going with Rice set for Arsenal medical and Timber having medical ahead of £38m move and then Payment structure for Arsenal’s £105m Rice deal agreed, but to be fair everyone agrees that the Rice deal is long since done, even though it is not appearing on any of the contract signed lists.
And there is a further reason to believe in what is going on. Granit Xhaka came to Arsenal in May 2016 for a fee in the region of £30 million and has now gone for £21.5m according to reports in the Mail, which seems rather a good selling price.
So where does Arsenal sit in terms of the value of its team? Seemingly second in the world. Which isn’t bad.
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