Just how many new players can Arsenal bring in over three summers

By Sir Hardly Anyone

When Arsene Wenger first came to Arsenal in 1996 he bought in four players.  Indeed such was the oddity of Mr Wenger taking over the club but staying to see out his contract in Japan, some of the players arrived before he did.

Those four were Patrick Vieira, Nic Anelka, John Lukic and Remi Garde.

In his second season he brought in Overmars, Petit, Grimandi, Upson, Boa Morte, Manninger, Mendez: seven players.  Grimandi was a bit of a special case, being Mr Wenger’s ears in the dressing room, who then subsequently did sterling service as our chief scout and negotiator in France for many years.

So that was 11 in the first two seasons.

In the third season it was Kanu, Freddie Ljungberg, Diawara, and Vivas.  Four more making 15 in three seasons.

When Mr Arteta joined he purchased, in 2020, Thomas Partey, Gabriel, Pablo Mari, Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, Cédric Soares, Willian, which makes six players.  In 2021 he has bought Ben White, Martin Ødegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares.   That is five more.  Which makes 11, the same as Mr Wenger in his two seasons.

When Unai Emery was at Arsenal he brought in Denis Suarez, Lichsteiner, David Luiz, Dani Ceballos, Nicola Pepe, Sokratis, Kiernan Tierney, William Saliba, Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, Matteo Guendouzi, and Gabriel Martinelli.  12 players.

So from the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2021 (to confirm, just three years) we have purchased 23 players, which I think is an all time Arsenal record for a three year period.   Certainly beats Mr Wenger’s 15.

Now there is a problem, because with 23 players bought in three seasons if more are needed those not wanted have to be unloaded (and as I have said before I really hope they don’t just put players out to grass again – the damage that does to the club’s reputation on the international stage is huge.)

And if the craziest situation of all happens, and Mr Arteta is sacked, then the new manager will want to bring in his players.  So if Mr Arteta goes mid-season, as Mr Emery was dismissed, who would want to take over the job, knowing that he would have to get rid of a lot of players if he wanted to bring in his own, or simply have players picking up huge salaries without playing – which means more damage to the club?

But meanwhile the club is being undermined by a lot of comments by a lot of ex-footballers who, in need of a bit of publicity, are encouraged to say outrageously negative things.   And yet when we look at it, a team certainly is coming together.   What has happened is simply that we have hardly had a chance yet for them to get to know each other, particularly with Gabriel and White not playing and Auba and Lacazette still only regaining full fitness after their encounter with Covid.

Will we really bring in any more players?    Hardly any new names have emerged to add to our list of 134 players tipped to be coming in this summer, so maybe the media have got it totally wrong.  Whoever has heard of such a thing.   Will they apologise?  No I doubt it.

Certainly the rumours seem as odd as ever.  Houssem Aouar, the midfield player from Lyon for example: do we really need another?  The rumour of him coming won’t go away however.

At least I always admit I find the situation confusing and unlikely and thus our mistakes are slightly forgivable.    Sky however never apologies and never explains.  Take this for example under the headline “Key Ins”…

Nuno Tavares – Benfica, undisclosed

Albert Sambi Lokonga – Anderlecht, £15m

Ben White – Brighton, £50m

Martin Odegaard – Real Madrid, undisclosed

Aaron Ramsdale – Bournemouth, £30m including add-ons

Now maybe Ramsdale did go back to Bournemouth, but my information pack suggests that he was registered with Sheffield United until 2017, but didn’t play for them.  Then went to Bournemouth from 2017 to 2020 including loan spells with Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon before signing for Sheffield United for the 2020/21 season, and then moving to Arsenal.

And just in case Ramsdale went back to Bournemouth and was only on loan at Sheffield United I looked that up.  But no, on 19 August 2020, Ramsdale signed for Sheffield United for around £18.5 million on a four year deal.


4 Replies to “Just how many new players can Arsenal bring in over three summers”

  1. Arteta problem is that he was promoted to a level beyond his competence. His management skills have been poor. He maybe a good coach, but management? Man management is a very important aspect of any management job and he failed miserably. The way he handled Guendozi and later Saliba speaks poorly of him, anongst others.
    His inferiority shown in the last two games and further reflected in the players display.
    Unfortunately this job is way beyond hiim. If change happens I hope is done very soon.

  2. As a supporter of stability and a backer of Arteta I am beginning to feel he doesn’t quite have the skill set required to manage our football club. Not sure if he trusts the players, they aren’t playing with any freedom to express themselves. Are they being over coached? Is he not letting their skills do the talking? Are Arteta and Edu in tandem? Is Edu the problem; the recruitment is poor. When will we see Pepe become a £72m player? Currently he’s looking £7.2m worth. We are buying youngsters which is to be applauded but this is Arsenal and we need proven winners. We are in danger of stagnation. It’s painful. There is a fear in replacing Arteta with a guy who may not fancy the new signings. Personally I feel the best signing could be Ramsdale because Leno is nowhere near good enough. The points he cost us last season possibly cost us CL football. I also agree Arteta lacks man management. Sometimes looks defeated before kick off; this is our leader………

  3. Jeevan the simple answer is that Arsenal, now along with several other clubs, are adopting a new tactic of cutting tackling out of their game, and that does take a while for players to adjust to. If there is a problem it could be with having brought in too many new players who will be new to this particular system.

  4. Jeevan,

    it is funny how Guardiola’s micro-management is deemed genius on einsteinian levels and if Arteta is labelled doing it, it is incompetence… True, the difference in value of the squad must in in the hundreds of millions, which in turn would mean that the more a player costs the more you need to explain him so many things during a game ?

    Double standards.

    Which does not mean that I believe that Mr Arteta is perfect. I was always thought that good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement. There is no damn way that Mr Arteta nor the youngsters can grow into a team and win if they are not given time to nurture and learn.

    Maybe the owners ought to negociate with Chelsea and just buy the whole team and the manager. Lump sum. After all, money is supposed to buy anything, is it not ? Yet, I’m sure many fans would voice their dissatisfaction. There will always be a reason.

    I’m sticking with supporting manager and team. They are not stupid and will learn and get better and better. others can purchase their happiness following Citeh. Chelsky, P$G and other such céubs purchasing their way to trophies.

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