The value of Arsenal’s squad has shot up: but we still need to see the results



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By Sir Hardly Anyone

An analysis by Football Observatory shows that Arsenal currently have six players on their books who are each valued at 100 million euros or above.

Now I know that each time we look at player values arguments can break out as to whether a particular player is indeed worth that much, but the fact is that if one is working from the valuations from a single source (in this case Football Observatory) then at least there will be a consistency in the valuations.  If some are overvalued, chances are that all will be in the same way.

Arsenal’s six players most valuable players are not hard to guess.  In descending order of valuation, they are Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Havertz, Saliba, Rice.

What is then interesting is to compare this level of valuation with that given by the same source for other players – the point being that if it is argued that Football Observatory constantly overestimates valuation, they will be doing this for all the clubs, not just Arsenal.

What we find is that compared with Arsenal’s six players, Liverpool have five players in this valuation group, as do Manchester City.   Looking at the other teams at or near the top of the league Aston Villa have no players with such a valuation, Tottenham Hotspur have one, and West Ham United don’t have any.

This in turn suggests that Arsenal’s problems at the moment (problems in the sense that the club is fourth in the league and five points behind the leaders) are not to do with individual players, but with getting the individual players to play into the system required by the manager.

Now we have seen this problem before at Arsenal, particularly if we go back just two seasons to the opening of the 2021/22 campaign in which Arsenal lost their first three league matches and there were persistent calls among some journalists and “fans” for Arteta to be removed at once.   Thankfully the owners had more sense than the pundits.

Of course, it is disappointing that Arteta has not yet got things persistently sorted out, given that he was brought in during the 2019/20 in which Arsenal won only two of their first five league games.   But it does suggest that the problem is not with individual players, but more with getting his latest system tweak to work.

This season Arsenal have lost four games, as you will obviously know.  Last season it was six in the whole season.  But then go back to 2022, and in that campaign, it was 13 defeats which is 34% of all the matches.   This season we have lost 20%.- last season it was 16%.

I would argue that the quality of the players we have now in the squad shows that progress continues to be made, but as I have argued before the one issue that has not been overcome is the psychological blip, which means that one bad or unexpected defeat or draw cannot be readily put aside.  Instead, the downturn carries on and we get a whole series of bad results.

That is certainly what happened last season, and this, and that is a problem that teams that win the league don’t have.

But my point is also that we now have players who are, or soon will be, able to handle these “blips” and pull the club back on track.   The only difficulty is that the team still has a number of youngsters who don’t yet have the experience of recovering from disappointment and loss of form.

In particular, Arsenal are under-scoring compared with last season, and with the club’s rivals at the top of the league.  Arsenal are only the seventh-highest scorers in the league so far this season but the club is only eight goals behind the top-scoring team Manchester City.

I’m not suggesting Arsenal are going  to score more than Manchester City this season, but I do expect Martinelli to regain his form, Eddie to continue his goal-scoring, and for Havertz to continue his improvement on the pitch.

But there are psychological issues to be faced, and the most obvious one this weekend is that Arsenal have only beaten Liverpool once in the last eight games between the two sides.   That is the sort of issue that has to be put to rights.

5 Replies to “The value of Arsenal’s squad has shot up: but we still need to see the results”

  1. Let us not forget the fact that 3 of the 4 defeats were attributable to bad referee / VAR interventions. The Fulham loss is the exception.

  2. I must admit I don’t pay much attention to valuations, whether that’s football players or anything else. In any commercial transaction you only know what something is really worth when it’s actually sold. In the case of football a player’s valuation can jump up and down quite dramatically, in the case of a career ending injury it can disappear altogether.

    There’s also the problem of the individual versus the team. There’s no question Arsenal have more valuable players than West Ham or even Aston Villa, but do they really have a better team ? When you look at Spurs the player valuations are pretty meaningless as so many are missing. The team actually playing is probably not worth that much but its still only a point behind Arsenal. The idea Arsenal have a more valuable squad than City would be ludicrous, the difference is the squad depth. Look at the value of players 10 to 20 in the two squads and I’d be very surprised if Arsenal came close. It would be interesting to see the value of the Chelsea squad, on paper I suspect they would look way better than their actual league position.

  3. @ Jod

    You could click on the link in the article to find the information you want! Anyway, the answer to your question is that players 10 to 20 are valued @ £290m and Man City’s @ £350m. So yes theirs are worth more by an average of just £6m per player.

    The problem with trying to compare value with ability/achievement, however, isn’t that simple. Value is based upon variables such as age, current length of contract etc., not just form/success. If one team has the best 30 year olds in the world and the other has a blossoming group of 20 year olds who aren’t nearly as good because of inexperience and not yet having reached their potential, the younger team might still be worth more. And that’s how I view Arsenal, a team with a great deal of potential but not yet at it’s peak. A handful of clubs can go out and spend half a billion in a transfer window (not always wisely). Arsenal can’t but they should be applauded for having managed to put together such a valuable team.

    For me, the best measure of how well a club is being managed is how much did the club pay for their best players compared to their current valuation (not forgetting to factor in how much they’re being paid) on that basis I think we’ve done well.

  4. On that basis Brighton would leave all the top clubs in the dust. Looking at the table it doesn’t make a lot of sense from the club’s perspective. For example Heung Min Son is apparently worth £30m. He’s the captain of his country, now also his club. He’s consistently provided goals and assists throughout his career in England, shared the golden boot with Salah and is comfortable playing both wide and centrally. If anyone offered Spurs £30m for him they’d just laugh in their face. From the club’s viewpoint its just about how long he can keep going, the longer the better. According to the table Son is worth the same as his team mates Skipp and Emerson, both industrious but limited players. Even factoring in the age difference it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  5. Heung Min Son has a four year contract ending in 2025 by which time he will be 31. I think the calculations take that into effect, and indeed no player on the list has a contract that has less than three years to run, simply because as contracts run down, and players approach the age of 30 or go beyond it, their value decreases considerably.

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