How much is Arsenal’s first team worth? The full data.

by Chips Dinero

There’s a very curious thing in the papers at the moment.  Journalists (and their coat-tail bloggers) are calling for Arsenal to buy more and more players.  But at the same time they are telling us that so many of the players Arsenal have bought in the past have lost value because the wrong men have been bought.

Which suggests that they are saying, “take a process that has failed, and do it again.”  Supposedly the first sign of madness.

In fact all player purchases are huge gambles.   Players who are shining at the age of 18 can be in League Two by 22, players who drift around the lower leagues can suddenly be seen to have great qualities…

The point is there are so many factors involved.  Raw talent is obviously one, but so is a willingness to train, to do what the manager says, temperament, injuries, illness, homesickness, uncontrolled personal habits (drinking, gambling) and personality (aggressiveness, timidity…)

All of these and many more affect how the player develops.   Which is why some transfers never happen: the manager doesn’t like the player’s psychological issues.

That process of checking the player out is a major part of why it can take so long from the first rumour announcement to the player being transferred.  The selling club anxiously tries to cover up anything that might stop the deal, while the buying club has an army of people searching for the negatives.

That does not mean that clubs don’t buy players with personal problems or a love of the high life.  Everyone has problems (although many don’t ever admit to them).  The club just has to decide how damaging they might be.  Cantona, you might recall, had a few issues…

So the search is always for the brilliant player whose personal issues, whatever they are, are controllable.  Nic Bendtner is an example; his desire for the high life and his impetuosity was always been well known, and was part of the price that was paid for having the player on the books.

All of which is why each of the large clubs employs an army of psychologists to watch the players and the prospects and provide advice on where problems might lie.   And it explains why clubs like to keep such issues secret, so as not to affect the value of the player when he is sold.

Of course journalists take none of this into account unless they are doing a piece highlighting the outrageous personal life of a player.  Meanwhile players employ their own people to deal with the journalists and head them off with fake stories.  For if the word gets out, the player’s value declines.

Meanwhile the journalists create their tales which generally run

  • The players we have bought have lost value because Arsenal have bought the wrong players
  • By playing for Arsenal who did so badly last season the players have lost even more value

Yet every club has players who lose value – especially at the moment.  So many clubs are in such dire financial straits that the value of players generally is tumbling.  But that’s too complex a tale for the average football journalist.

Now because of the pandemic, the situation is worse.  We can expect Manchester City, Chelsea and PSG to buy as always because the pandemic doesn’t affect those with the greatest wealth.  But look at Barcelona, and the top Italian clubs – and undoubtedly many more.  They are in real trouble and this reduces the value of players, because value is simply what a club will pay.

And of course we never know the value of a player until he is sold.  Football Observatory had Bukayo Saka as worth £100m in earlier this year.  Transfermrkt had him at half that. 

But for what it is worth here are the market values of our players as estimated this week by Transfermarkt

Player Age Contract ends Value 2021 Value 2020
19 June 30, 2024 €20m
Partey 28 June 30, 2025 €50m
26 June 30, 2024 €52m
24 June 30, 2024 €20m
30 June 30, 2022 €48m
24 June 30, 2021 €32m
32 June 30, 2023 €56m
26 June 30, 2023 €32m
23 June 30, 2025 €28m
29 June 30, 2023 €28m
28 June 30, 2023 €24m
20 June 30, 2024 €25m
25 June 30, 2024 €9.5m
Smith Rowe
20 June 30, 2023 €2,7m
22 June 30, 2022 €11m
21 June 30, 2023 €16m
26 June 30, 2022 €14.5m
28 June 30, 2022 €5m

So we have six players whose values have increased – and of course we can always argue about the details of some others.  I would say Willock’s value has increased dramatically because of the loan to Newcastle, and Chambers has gone up considerably, because he has overcome his injury problems and played consistently in what was the third best defence in the Premier League last season.

But to me the main thing to remember is that declining values are, at the moment, everywhere.

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11 Replies to “How much is Arsenal’s first team worth? The full data.”

  1. Chips Dinero

    Thanks for an interesting article. Of all your observations I took particular interest in this:

    – The players we have bought have lost value because Arsenal have bought the wrong players
    – By playing for Arsenal who did so badly last season the players have lost even more value

    Yet every club has players who lose value – especially at the moment. So many clubs are in such dire financial straits that the value of players generally is tumbling. But that’s too complex a tale for the average football journalist.

    So I thought I’d have a look to see if this singling out of Arsenals transfer dealings as being particularly poor held water, or whether, as you suspect we are no different to anyone else. To this end I just took a cursory look at the figures on

    I have listed the top 8 clubs in last seasons finishing order, with the total squad value, followed by their finishing position the season before, followed by the comparison of the 2 to see if this affected player values.

    I have showed the total number of players listed, followed by the amount of players who’s values remained the same, went up or went down. Then I did the averages.

    1st MANCHESTER CITY (£924)

    2019-2020 = 2nd = Plus 1

    Total 25 Same 12 Up 4 Down 9

    2nd MANCHESTER UTD (£663)

    2019-2020 = 2nd = Plus 1

    Total 28 Same 14 Up 6 Down 8

    3rd LIVERPOOL (£821)

    2019-2020 = 1st = Minus 2

    Total 30 Same 8 Up 3 Down 19

    4th CHELSEA (£772)

    2019-2020 4th = Same

    Total 33 Same 14 Up 6 Down 13

    5th LIECSTER CITY (£446)

    2019-2020 5th = Same

    Total 26 Same 26 Up 6 Down 11

    6th WEST HAM (£237)

    2019-2020 16th = Plus 10

    Total 22 Same 14 Up 2 Down 6

    7th SPURS (£601)

    2019-2020 6th = Minus 1

    Total 29 Same 15 Up 2 Down 12

    8th ARSENAL (£486)

    2019-2020 8th = Same

    Total 27 Same 12 Down 11 Up 4

    Totals: Players = 220, Same = 98, Up = 33, Down = 11.

    Average Players = 27, Same = 12, Up = 4, Down = 11.
    Arsenal again = 27, Same = 12, Up = 4, Down = 11.

    The reason I showed Arsenal again is because quite remarkably our figures are EXACTLY the average in EVERY catagory.

    So no we are not the worst. We are not the worst in a single category.

    So what is behind the rise and fall of a players value. Is it simply down to the individual players form ? Age ? Is it down to the team in generals performance ? Whether they climb or fall up or down the table ? If that is the case then last year is perhaps not the best year to draw conclusions on that parameter as 6 out of the 8 teams either stayed the same or moved just 1 place, so overall you would think that would have very little impact on a players value.

    But what about the 2 biggest movers. Well the biggest improvers West Ham climbed 10 places but only 2 players values increased. So no.

    But conversely the biggest fallers Liverpool, who did only drop 2 places it has to be said, nether the less had the most players with lower valuations with a massive 19 players dropping in value.

    So as far as I can see from these figures the teams performance has little to do with a players rise or fall in value so it must be something else.

    One thing is for sure, any Arsenal bashing is totally un warranted and as usual and is merely a figment of the medias imagination and simply forms part of their endless agenda to constantly criticise everything we do without a shred of evidence to support the criticism.

    Note: My statistics are from transfer league and I have done everything possible to avoid errors so please accept in advance my apologies for any that you may find.

  2. Corr:

    Leicester same should be 9

    Sorry I hope there’s no more little errors.

    Fortunately none affect the over statistics or conclusions.

  3. One more small error. The total players down was 89 not 11. Again makes no difference. This those remarkable averages again.

    Totals: Players = 220, Same = 98, Up = 33, DOWN = 89.

    Average Players = 27, Same = 12, Up = 4, Down = 11.
    Arsenal again = 27, Same = 12, Up = 4, Down = 11.

  4. Some may of noticed a small discrepancy between Chips and my figures regarding the amount of players that have increased in value which is because the page I found at

    showed Elnenys value to of remained the same while Nketiahs has dropped. Not sure while but in any case it’s not a World away, and if Chips figures are the correct ones then we have done even better.

  5. Am looking forward to Saka returning back from The EUROs soon. He ‘ll need to come back safe and well rested to start the new season.
    Up the Gunners !

  6. It’s all a bit arbitrary really.

    If there are no decent goalkeepers around, the value of the half decent ones will go up even if they are nowhere near their best.

    Further, I wonder how “value” is measured. The real value is what someone will pay. Again using keepers as an example, if a few of the best goal keepers in the world are coming up to retirement age, the value of the others will go up generally speaking. Supply and demand.

    Another dynamic which affects the price is also how close a player is to the end of their contract, hence the importance of not letting a contract run down thus allowing the buying club offer less than the real value, knowing the club will get nothing in the near future. Thus the “value” is not directly linked to how well they may or may not have been playing.

    Then when you look at transfermarkt and their analysis of Saka it really does bring into question their judgement. Their analysis was that he was worth just £8m last year and is now worth £58.5m. Crazy. And if their valuation of ESR @ £16.2m is correct, I suspect every club in Europe would be willing to stump up that amount for him. And they even value David Luiz @ £3.6m even though his contract runs out in five days. That’s patently rubbish.

  7. Mikey

    Basically what you say is true. Valuations are arbitrary really. I also agree some of transfermarets valuations on our players are questionable at best, but both of those observations will almost certainly be true for every club.

    So given that all these variables hold true across all clubs, why then, given how our valuations, both up and down, come out bang average, are we constantly derided as being so poor in the transfer market ?

    Look at Liverpool with their 19 players loosing value ! If that was us the media would be having a field day, and that despite the fact that, as you say, all the valuations are pretty arbitrary anyway.

    I was just posing the question, despite the fact our transfer dealings are clearly nothing like as terrible as they are painted out to be, why do the media endlessly peddle the notion that we are ?

    Even worse why do such a significant number of our fans keep buying into this nonsense ?

  8. @ Nitram

    I wasn’t really disagreeing with any of the basic conclusions of either you or Chips. More questioning the process of assessing a player or teams worth when it’s clearly a moveable feast.

    You know my views on the media and their bias against the club and we’re certainly on the same page there!

    As for the fans??? As I always say, supporters support. Fans are another kettle of fish altogether…………

  9. Mikey

    Questionable valuations indeed.

    I believe, and I think it is pretty hard for anyone to argue against it, the medias constant bashing of our club is a deliberate attempt to undermine us at every turn.

    From attempting to set the agenda for how we are refereed to undermining the quality, and subsequent value of our players.

    Our players are constantly under rated and under valued. I’ve lost count of the amount of articles that pop up saying things along the lines of ‘Not 1 Arsenal player would get in Spurs team’.

    Whether it actually affects a players value in the real World when he is sold is a mute point given how history shows we actually balance the books pretty well in the transfer market, an observation which is born out by the fact we maintained a record top 4 run on a ZERO Nett spend over 10 years, which despite how it was ridiculed was remarkable.

    Okay, at the moment we are not pulling up trees in the transfer market, but as I have shown, we are nothing like as bad as we are being painted. Yes we have spent a lot and haven’t as yet seen an expected return regarding league finishes, but we seem to be heading in the right direction. Lets hope so.

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