Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


July 2021

Which clubs have bought the most, sold the most, loaned the most, released the most players?


By Tony Attwood

Very very little transfer action by the clubs that ended up in the top ten during the past couple of weeks. Top spenders are still Manchester City with £217m spent followed by Man U who have overtaken Chelsea into second position having spent £146m.  Chelsea third with £126m.

Everton have now brought in 11 players.  Manchester City are next with 6, Chelsea 5, and at the foot of the table Southampton stuck on 1 and Tottenham resolutely on zero.

But what is emerging – as I will try and show in this article – is several different methods of running a football club.

Arsenal, Manchester Utd and Liverpool have the traditional method of buying in modest numbers, and selling in modest numbers.

Chelsea and Manchester City are indulging in huge numbers of deals involving youngsters, as we’ll see in the second table and the thoughts below that.

Tottenham are sticking to their policy of buying no one, while Everton are buying everyone.

Here is the table of the top ten clubs from last season in terms of their player buying.

Club Player  From Date Fee Total £
Arsenal (2) Alexandre Lacazett Lyon July £46m £46m
Sead Kolasinac Schalke June End of contract
Chelsea (5) Antonio Rüdiger Roma June £29m £126.7m
Ethan Ampadu
Exeter July Compensation
Willey Cabeleero
Free agent July £0
Tiémoué Bakayoko Monaco July £39.7m
Álvaro Morata Real Mad July £58m
Man City (6) Benjamin Mendy Monaco July £52m £217m
Douglas Luiz Vasco de Gama July £10m
Danilo Real Mad July £26.5
   Bernardo Silva Monaco July £43.6
 Kyle Walker  Tottenham July £50m
Ederson Benfica June £34.9m
Man U (3) Nemanja Matic Chelsea Aug £40 £146m
Victor Lindelof Benfica June £31m
Romelu Lukaku Everton July £75m
Liverpool (3) Andrew Robertson Hull July £8m £44.9
Mohamed Salah Roma June £36.9m
  Dominic Solanke Chelsea May Released
Tottenham (0) £0
Everton (11) Lewis Gibson Newcastle Aug Undisclosed £58.7
Cuco Martina Southampton July Released
Michael Keene Burnley July £25m
Josh Bowler QPR July Unknown
Sandro Ramírez Malaga July £5.3m
Henry Onyekuru Lupen June £7m*
Nathangelo Markelo FC Volendam June Unknown
Davy Klaassen Ajax June £23.7m
Jordan Pickford Sunderland June £25m
Boris Mathis Metz July Unknown
Wayne Rooney Man U July Free?
Southampton (1) Jan Bednarek Lech Poznan July £5.7m £5.7m
Bournemouth (4) Asmir Begovic Chelsea May £10m £30m
Nathan Aké Chelsea June £20m
Jermain Defoe Sunderland June Free
Connor Mahoney Blackburn July Released
West Brom (4) Ahmed Hegazi Al Ahly July Loan £12m
Yuning Zhang Vitesse Arnhem July Undisclosed
Ben Pierce Free Agent July Free
Jay Rodriguez Southampton July £12m

Now with a more restricted list of clubs (to make it all manageable) the list of loans out, the released players and the sold players.   What really strikes me is that the clubs here are working on utterly different models.   Chelsea have for example got rid of 32 players.  Manchester City have disposed of 25 – and although as with Chelsea some of the loaned out players might come back, history suggests that is a very tiny number.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

Arsenal on the other hand have moved nine players, Liverpool nine, Manchester United seven.  The loans for Man City and Chelsea are just too numerous to mention.  You can find all the details on the Guardian’s transfer site.

Club Loan Released Sold
Arsenal Asano Willock Hinds
Bola O’Connor Crowley
Martinez Kamara Szczesny
Chelsea 21 players Solanke Cuadrado
Terry Atsu
Liverpool Chirivella Manninger Wisdom
Randall Gomes Leiva
Awoniyi Stewart
Manchester City 11 players Zabaleta Mooy
Clichy Sobrino
Navas Ntcham
Caballero Nolito
 Sagna Kolarov
Coveney Horsfield
Zuculini Iheanacho
Manchester United Poole Harrop Rooney
Henderson  Januzaj
Tottenham Hotspur Ogilvie Bentaleb
Glover Walker
Walkes Fazio

It is interesting that the two clubs with the massive churn rate are the two with owners who can afford anything.  I think, it is more or less accurate to suggest here that these clubs are just trading in numbers to see if they happen to pick up any gems along the way.

Now of course I know the argument that says that this is a clever way of getting around FFP, but I’ve done the sums and I still don’t make them add up.  Maybe that is just me, but the evidence still seems to me to suggest that there is precious little profit to be made from this loan trading that Manchester City and Chelsea are engaged in, and a whacking great loss where the salary of the player is not fully paid by the club taking the player on loan – which seems to be the case most of the time.

The problem is that when I try and get reliable figures for loan deals and resultant salaries, there simply are none.  Obviously many of these matters are confidential between club and player but the rates suggested often just seem unbelievable to me in some cases, and there are just not figures in others, so I have given up on that project for the moment.

The alternative vision is that suggested above – trading just to see if any passing undiscovered genius is picked up.  What will be interesting to see will be how many players there are who have had a year or two in the youth teams, who are playing in the opening game for the club.   That is to say either players that have joined the club as children, or players like Bellerin or the Ox who have come from other clubs but then spent a year or more working their way up to the first team.

I suppose most footballers are certain that they are going to make it, that they will be the one in a million, and so going to Chelsea or Manchester City is still worthwhile for them.  But the failure rate in terms of players who really make it looks to be astonishingly high.

Recent Posts



16 comments to Which clubs have bought the most, sold the most, loaned the most, released the most players?

  • Naz

    You fail to realise that City have a global network of football clubs. I really thought you would have made mention of that. Some of the buys for example Luiz go straight on loan there. In time I think a lot of clubs will copy this.

    Also you have used Guardian data which is wrong. We all know Lukaku will cost £90m not £75m

  • MikeT


    You have asserted time after time that comments on here need to be backed up by way of facts but you continue to speculate as to the financial merits of loaning players and readily admit that the details of loans are rarely published.

  • Naz, the problem is when you say “we all know” what I want to know is “how”. That’s the nature of evidence. And yes I know about the network of clubs. Indeed I’ve been to the City group club in Australia, and predicted where the next one will be.

  • Mike T, then I have not made myself clear. I don’t think there is anything wrong with talking about issues where we are not fully au fait with the evidence simply because it is not available. So at that point we speculate, in the same way the physicists speculate about the singularity at the heart of a black hole. One takes such evidence as there is and works from there. What I object to is statements as we had today that “we all know that…” when in fact I don’t think we do, and even if we do, I’d like to know why. The details of loans are rarely published, but it is still possible to build models of how the transactions work including of course the fact that the clubs obey the law and that they are operating as independent footballing and business entities.

  • BFG

    How would Untold react to Barcelona getting involved with blood sports? Very little attention given to the fact that SK is dragging AFC throught the mud through his greedy expansionism.

  • MikeT


    The irony for me is in one breath you are saying their is no or little information in the public domain which there isn’t yet in another you say you have done the sums. In reality you don’t have any numbers to even start to do the sums
    Far from being fully au fait with the evidence in reality there is no evidence to draw the conclusion that you do in terms of the financial merit of any loan let alone the numbers that both Chelsea and indeed other clubs are dealing with.

  • Mandy Dodd

    How are Everton getting around things?

  • Menace

    Mike T -what is your problem? Tony clearly states that the numbers don’t add up. Why? Because he probably doesn’t have enough to make the calculation. At least he makes the point rather than nit pick without any purpose.

    BFG – read & learn. There is enough on this blog covering SK & his money making TV crap. Incidentally it does not drag AFC into the muck – 2 distinct businesses. We are not part of Walmart either.

  • Andy Mack

    BFG, look back at previous articles and you’ll appreciate your comment 5.03pm is rubbish…

  • Andy Mack

    I agree that it’s very difficult to see how the loan system can be a money generating operation. Both Chavski and $iteh are known to get most of their younger players by paying big money for them, in either purchase price or salary, or both.
    It’s extremely unlikely that any player that goes to lower league will warrant a loan fee of any note and the lower club is unlikely to be able to pay all of his salary, but the owner club needs to give the youngster playing time which they can’t give themselves.
    Whereas for many of their fringe senior players they are already on a salary that loan clubs are rarely able to match, so the owner club has to ‘top-up’ the loan players salary even if they’re a lower PL club.
    It appears to me that the only time this works positively is when a player has come through their youth set up and is clearly at a standard to play regular PL football but is on sensible wages because he’s been at the club some time. That can make the club very good money but it’s also very rare…
    Talking about owning clubs overseas doesn’t change the fact that in other leagues (except possibly china) all players except the real stars are paid much less (in most it’s really much much less) than in the PL, so why would they pay over the odds for a loan player…

  • Andy Mack

    correction ‘why would they pay over the odds for an inexperienced loan player…’

  • BFG

    That Andy Mack & Menace (sic) have to come over as tough on here tells me all about Untold’s disturbing protectionist stance on anything which throws AFC in with the other clubs they despise. Menace- you are always angry. You really need to show more patience with us mere posters. Mack – you should know better.

  • Andy Mack

    BFG have you actually looked at the numerous previous pages which were talking about the Blood-sport TV issue?
    So now your realise your comment was rubbish!
    It’s easy to miss smaller subjects when they’re only a small part of previous articles but to miss that was really poor of you…

  • BFG

    Mack you yourself are spending more time evading/talking around the sordid issue than getting to grips with it. Where is the Untold petition or is it only when it is a Citeh or Barca. We have a glass window/stones situ and it could get worse. If you consider Bloodsports as mere collateral and part of the sacrifice then make it clear.

  • Gideone

    @BFG: read & learn. Menace. (2017, August 5). Re: Which clubs have bought the most, sold the most, loaned the most, released the most players? [Blog comment]. Retrieved from

    Re: “Where is the Untold petition or is it only when it is a Citeh or Barca” Read and learn at the links below:

  • Andy Mack

    It’s discussed in some depth and there are links to petitions.
    So hopefully you’ll learn that you should check the facts before making rubbish comments…