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Are Arsenal lagging behind all other clubs once again this summer?

By Tony Attwood

There is an argument (and it has been made by correspondents on this site) that says that Arsenal are always very slow about doing their transfer business, largely because of incompetence in the back room staff or a refusal of Mr Wenger to spend anything.

Unfortunately when that point has been made here, it has not been accompanied by any serious data which would lead us to compare clubs.

So since last season we established the Arsenal Transfer Index, which records every rumour of a transfer that we see, (a service that is now continuing as you may have noticed) I thought it would be good to add to this by recording the incoming transfers of the top six clubs of last season, just to see if Arsenal do indeed lag totally behind their major rivals.

I’ve defined “major rivals” in the most obvious way: Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and the table developed includes incoming transfers only (ie not sales), but excludes players returning from other clubs to their parent club, at the end of a loan.  This is because some clubs record these end of loans as “transfers” and other’s don’t.

For example while Chelsea have a group of players declared as transfers (who were out on loan and have now returned) Arsenal tend not to do this.  I can well imagine the furore that would explode if we announced that Arsenal had just secured their second transfer of the summer: Jack Wilshere.  Because there is no ceaseless daily commentariat campaign against Chelsea, as there is against Arsenal, such matters pass without comment.

Of course just having the May and June transfers doesn’t make too much of a list thus far, but I felt the need to get this going now, so that everything that crops up in July can easily be added as we go along.  And of course because the essence of the point is that everyone else does their business early, and only Arsenal leave things to the last moment.

In what follows, one transfer stands out: that of Ethan Ampadu issue, for as the player is 16 he can leave Exeter and they simply get “compensation”, rather than a fee resembling what the player is apparently going to be worth.  He will I imagine either go out on loan to one of Chelsea’s feeder clubs in Europe or sit in their under 23 team.

We should also note that the transfer window did not open until 1 July, and thus June arrangements would actually be finalised formally with the relevant leagues on 1 July, although are recorded in the media as agreed in June.

Here’s the list.

Club Player  From Date Fee
Arsenal Sead Kolasinac Schalke June End of contract
Chelsea Antonio Rüdiger Roma June £29m
Ethan Ampadu
Exeter July Compensation
Man C Ederson Benfica June £34.9m
  Bernardo Silva Monaco May £43.6m
Man U Victor Lindelof Benfica June £31m
Liverpool Mohamed Salah Roma June £36.9m
  Dominic Solanke Chelsea May Released
  Thus,  Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have each transferred two player into the club so far, but only Man City have done the business twice with actual real live fees.

Now the Manchester City situation is interesting, because of their dispute with Argentine club Velez Sarsfield which goes to the Committee for Arbitration in Sport starting today.  Billy McGraw is currently putting together a piece on this for publication later today, but in essence, Manchester City face the prospect of a transfer ban if they are judged to have broken rules by talking to Benjamin Garré when he was 15.

If found guilty Manchester City could be banned immediately from making transfers, although a ban for the next two windows would seem more likely.  Thus it is suggested in several quarters they have got their transfers in very early so as to secure their position, rather than let negotiations continue in order to reduce the price.

(It is also interesting in passing that if the stories about Lacazette are true, one factor that has eased his passage to Arsenal is that Atletico Madrid, who also wanted him, are current banned from buying anyone because of child trafficking offences).

One other point comes from seeing transfers in this way, and that is just how many transfers depend on other deals.  The last statement from Lyon about Alexandre Lacazette was that there was no deal, but it is noteworthy that Lyon has just signed Mariano Diaz and now suddenly seem ready to act.

Looking at transfers across the years it has often been clear how much one deal depends on another.  Sead Kolasinac’s deal didn’t – he was out of contract, but I suspect others will do.  Man City can by-pass such considerations because of their huge wealth, and because the new rules on increasing salaries are based on increases from a date by which Man City were already paying mega money for players who were not playing for them very often.

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9 comments to Are Arsenal lagging behind all other clubs once again this summer?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’m not sure who exactly did this study and I have no evidence that I could really furnish , but it does seem quite plausible to me .

    Men are very Kind and Women are very Selfish!

    Want Proof ?

    Most women don’t like to help unknown men


    All men are ready anytime to help unknown women…

    A woman has feelings for only her husband or boyfriend……


    A man’s heart is so big that in his heart he can accommodate…..

    Friend’s girlfriend.

    Wife’s friends.

    His sister in law.

    Brother’s sister in law.

    Neighbor’s​ wife.

    Sister’s sister in law.

    Kid’s teachers.

    Really, seeing a man’s heart so full of love brings tears to my eyes…….

    If a man is allowed to select
    a girl from 100 girls,
    and even if he picks the most
    beautiful girl,
    he still FEELS the PAIN of losing the remaining NINETY NINE…
    and , Women say… men don’t have FEELINGS..

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Here is another study that I feel will get the men truly happy . It does very clearly state that it is a scientific study . And it is on youtube . They obviously vet their contents througly.

  • olad

    lol….spot @ brickfield

  • Andy Mack

    It’s possible that another factor may have made Lacazette a slightly easier option is that if Athletico really wanted him and were prepared to pay (which is quite unlike them as they usually buy quite cheaply), are they really so hungry for him now that Costa seems interested in moving back there after his Chavski time appears to be over…
    Having both of them could cause problems as players would get less game-time…

  • clockendjim

    Hopefully the new signings of Lacazette, Mahrez and possibly Lemar will all happen soon making us a very strong outfit regardless of whether Sanchez stays (and I am losing patience with him and his histrionics)

    However what is also very quite is news of any departing players. I would like to see some of the dead wood like Walcott, Giroud, Gibbs etc cleared out so there is no temptation to play them as they contributed very little last season.

    Not sure of the Oxlade-Chamberlain/Bellerin situation though. They looked a good combination playing the new system at the end of the season and I would have liked to see that develop. However the Ox seems to want away and if we sign Mahrez he will not be a great loss.

  • para

    It seems that commenters are more interested in who is coming/going to/from Arsenal than
    “Are Arsenal lagging behind all other clubs once again this summer?”

    Anyway, i think Alexis is going.
    It was a waiting game to see if we get Lacazette or some other first.

  • Jjgsol

    Walcott scored 19 goals last season.

    I am sure that most clubs would be delighted to dead wood like him in their squad.

  • omgarsenal

    clockendjim…..thanks for your superb insight but next time,do your research before calling players deadwood. Also,before writing your shite on UA, please don’t read the blogettas and media circus because it is obvious you believe anything they write! Trump would be proud of you!

  • Nitram

    Jjgsol and omgarsenal

    Well said lads. I was thinking exactly the same.

    To call Walcott, Giroud and Gibbs ‘dead wood’ is frankly pathetic.

    Walcott’s a great player, but unfortunately for him he’s just been too injury prone to of reached his full potential, but even so, as you say, there will be many a Club after his signature should he be for sale.

    He may or may not be everybody’s favourite player, but to call him ‘dead wood’ is an insult.

    Giroud IS top Class. As an article on untold recently showed his bare stats are better than Lacazette, which may explain why he’s ahead of him in the pecking order for the French National team, and as I have shown on here many times, they stack up extremely well against most of the top strikers across Europe. Even in an injury hit, bellow par season, I believe his goals per minute where 2nd only to Kane in the PL. Oh, and lets not forget he scored one of the best goals ever seen.

    Again, he may not be everybody’s favourite player, but to call him ‘dead wood’? Seriously?

    Even calling Gibbs ‘dead wood’ is out of order. Gibbs may not be the best fullback/wingback in the World, mainly down to him still being too one footed, but he is and has always been a solid squad player.

    Yes he may now be surplus to requirements but labelling him ‘dead wood’ is way wide of the mark.

    I would be more than happy if all 3 of those players stayed. In fact I’d be gutted if either Walcott or Giroud left.