Who’s signing whom: how to big six and wannabes compare in terms of spending

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Following this morning’s list of all the players we are reputed to have been chasing, and the seven players we have so far signed, here are the details of the clubs who finished above us last season in terms of their buying and selling


Club Bought Price Sold Price Total
Arsenal Pablo Marí £14m -£14m
Chelsea Hakim Ziyech £33.6m Pasalic £13.5m
Timo Werner £47.5m Morata £59.2m
Xavier Mbuyamba ? -£8.4m
Leicester C Bartosz Kapustka ? ?
Liverpool Kostas Tsimikas £11.8m Lovren £10.9m -£1m
Manchester C Ferran Torres £24.5m Thierry Ambrose £1.8m
Nathan Aké £41m Leroy Sané £40.9m -£22.8m
Manchester U
Sheffield U Aaron Ramsdale £18.5m
Tottenham H Pierre-Emile Højbjerg £15m Kyle Walker-Peters £12m -£3m
Wolverhampton W Hélder Costa £16m £16m

In this table only players recorded as getting a transfer fee are listed.  A negative in the “total” column at the far right shows the club has spent money.  Thus Arsenal are obviously £14m down.  A positive, as in the case of Wolverhampton shows that the club has received more than it has paid out – in their case £16m.

That last entry is interesting, and will be worth watching over time, since our thoughts were that they had got themselves into extreme financial trouble, in that before the virus came along with all its financial implications for loss of TV money and gate receipts, they had already borrowed a sum equivalent to the first TV payment of the 2020/1 season. It is, we understand, a short term loan to be paid back when the first TV payment of the new season arrives – meaning they will not be able to use that for any other purpose.

So at the moment Arsenal are second to Manchester City in the spending, but there is of course quite a way to go on this window which continues to be open until Monday, 5 October.

However, as we have noted before, transfers between English clubs will continue for another 11 days thereafter – although as an added restriction Premier League teams will not be able to buy from or sell to other Premier League teams.

As the chart this morning showed we have also been busy buying younger players who are still making their way up through the youth levels of the club.

But it is also worth looking back to see what was being said just over a year ago as we approached the window then, long before there was any thought of a covid virus.  Here’s the Daily Mail’s take from 2019…

“… the Gunners have failed in their pursuit of statement signings – including the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Kieran Tierney – and have only brought in Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli for £6 million so far.”

Of course Tierney did arrive, Zaha was always a hoax story cooked up by journalists with fevered imaginations, and saying “only” Martinelli for £6m looks like the silliest comment of last year.  His purchase was one of the greatest coups of all time.

We were also told through much of the year that Saka was on his way out – turned out he could play in virtually every position under the sun, and he signed a new contract.   Oh yes and we discovered our backup keeper was as good as the first team regular.

Incidentally the biggest buyers so far this summer are Fulham (£17m) and Leeds (£22m) – I wonder if they are trying to get in early, or planning on doing what Aston Villa did last summer – spend, spend, spend in the hope that it buys them a second season.

As for what comes next, the Guardian is running this headline…

“Gabriel Magalhães to sign five-year deal with Arsenal for £27m next week

  • Gunners beat Napoli and both Manchester clubs to Lille player
  • Mikel Arteta still wants to add a forward and midfielder to squad”

We shall see.