Arsenal demonstrate some strategy in the transfer market

The budget might only be £44m, but the Gunners are trying to spend smart

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Pepe - Club will finish paying Lille for him in 2022.

Ok, so let’s look at how much Arsenal have actually spent so far this summer in the transfer market

£6m on Martinelli
£3.7m on Saliba (the remainder to follow once the player arrives in the summer of 2020 – although the payment of the full fee may be staggered over the length of his contract and the amount due will be linked to his success)
£4.1m loan fee for Ceballos
£18m on Nicholas Pepe (3 futher instalments of £18m due over the next three summers)
Total so far - £31.8m

And you wonder why Arsenal are quibbling over a couple of million for Kieran Tierney? Possibly also investigating the potential of staggered payments to Celtic. As for a centre back, it would seem that the arrival of a new face is reliant on getting some income in for a player Unai Emery is willing to let go – the obvious names being Mesut Ozil, Henrik Mkhitaryan, Shkodran Mustafi and perhaps Sead Kolasinac. The club has at least received some money for wantaway captain Laurent Koscielny, but it’s questionable how far that will stretch.

Regardless, the bottom line here is that Arsenal, through intelligent use of limited funds, have so far secured players they do not have the funds to buy outright at this time. They probably could not have afforded to purchase Ceballos on a permanent basis, and certainly not paid the complete fee for Pepe. It’s certainly also true that a good number of transfers are negotiated this way – and apparently it’s Huss Fahmy who represents Arsenal in brokering these deals. For a club like Lille, who sold Pepe, taking the money over four summers is apparently better for their Financial Fair Play observance, as the club are not planning to splash the Pepe cash on a big player, probably because the wages of such a signing might prove a problem.

Raul Sanllehi has a contact at Lille, and part of the reason he was brought to Arsenal by Ivan Gazidis (as well as the two being good friends) was his contact book. He’s also on board partly to ensure that if there is a European Super League set up, Arsenal will be invited. Whether an ESL with limited promotion and relegation is good for the game is a debate for another time, although many fans’ organisations Europe-wide are campaigning against it.

Still, back to transfers. Long term Arsenal Spanish scout Francis Cagigao has officially replaced Sven Mislintat in terms of job title (Head of International scouting), but one wonders if Sanllehi’s contact book is now in effect the real chief scout. Being in touch with people all over Europe he will inevitably get opinions on future potential stars. One imagines the arrival of Edu may mean similar for an in to the South American market (and who knows what role Edu played in securing Martinelli).

Of course, the success of this summer’s transfer window initially cannot be judged until Thursday’s deadline expires, and then how the team perform with the new arrivals over the course of the season. There’s no question the centre back options do not look any better than last season when so many goals were conceded.

If you have enough confidence to put a bet on any belief that the additions in attack can compensate for the weaknesses at the back, be sure to check out the top betting sites by Wincomparator before placing your money. Certainly Arsenal need to improve or Unai Emery and the club are likely to part ways next summer.

So the big money deal for Pepe has given heart to supporters fearful that the club have fallen behind, as have the decisions by players wanted elsewhere (not least Tottenham) to join Arsenal instead. It’s a consequence of some clever dealing by Sanllehi and Fahmy, and one hopes that the club are more intelligent with their funds than they were for many years, negligence which has allowed Spurs and Liverpool to catch up financially, and shove Arsenal out of the Champions League places.

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  1. markymark

    Aug 7, 2019, 16:21 #114505

    Blinking Nora - David Luiz is pulling a strike to come to Arsenal. World class one minute , comic routine the next. Should fit in well !

  2. markymark

    Aug 7, 2019, 16:21 #114504

    Blinking Nora - David Luiz is pulling a strike to come to Arsenal. World class one minute , comic routine the next. Should fit in well !

  3. mbg

    Aug 7, 2019, 14:18 #114503

    Well here we are again, one can't help but be optimistic and full of hope of course, but in reality is things going to be any different, we'll soon find out.

  4. markymark

    Aug 7, 2019, 13:02 #114502

    The problems are multifold and need addressing sometimes in separation from each other. Defensive problems - Yep Unai has a defensive problem with goals conceded always on the high side. Will he fix this who knows? Did Wenger fix it? Of course not so either Unai sorts this out with the team he has or he fixes it with perhaps Rugani and others . If he can’t ultimately that’s 4th spot gone and he’s out. Blame factor for that? I’d say 9/10 with Unai if not fixed. Transfers and direction of club - Previously we had Ivan going in about our “Class” how other clubs were trying to follow our model and 30 minute tear jerker movies on Arsenal in the Third World. He also searched the whole world to then look behind him and find Wengo - Ruination of Arsenal as a fighting force 8/10. Wengo - Become ever more marked by mediocrity , a sense of righteousness as he settled for a slow slide. A man who could not understand a DOF or modern contracts - 8/10 responsibility Dick Law - Comic ineptitude chasing around the world when he remembered to catch his plane. But perhaps ultimately the fall guy for Wengo’s constant mind changing and parsimonious behaviour - 4/10 responsibility The Kronke’s - Daddy Kronke is miserable , unlovable , uninterested . Zero grand dream building , no overall improvement strategy obvious apart from increasing share price - Responsibilty i’d Say 6/10. Now we have Raul who batted off protest and got the crowd on side at AISA . 24 hours later Pépé had been announced. Tierney looks like he could be coming , Cabelos is here, the best for age defender in Europe is with us season after next. The next best defender for age in Europe is being targeted by us ( might fail ). Meanwhile Huss appears to be using a Levy like wilyness to tighten up the contracts. Further Edu gives us connections into South American markets. Does anyone really believe Dick Law, Wenger and Ivan would have grabbed Pépé? So to summarise I think Arsenal are massively improving. The coach may or may not succeed. Will we be under him for 10 years if he doesn’t succeed? I think we know the answer to that

  5. itsRonagain2

    Aug 7, 2019, 12:21 #114501

    We dont know if its smart or not. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Can you perhaps enlarge on how smart it is to have not addressed the obvious defensive problems the team has had for a decade or more? Bard is right i think. Its all cosmetic. AFC are firmly the 3rd London team now, a position that has never been as obvious and indisputable since the early to late 60s when both Spurs and Chelsea used to routinely thrash them for fun. Its true that success in football is cyclical but Arsenals plight is as a result of managerial self harm. Basically Arsenal are what they are and deserve now to be also rans.

  6. Bard

    Aug 7, 2019, 10:55 #114500

    Your article is full of misplaced optimism. Arsenal are merely papering over the cracks in an attempt to prevent fan unrest. Remember when they bought Ozil after getting beaten by Villa at home on the first day of the season ?The last regime have left the club in a deep hole and it will take years to sort out the mess. They dont seem to have the funds to buy a decent CB so I would expect more of the same this season as we battle for 6/7th spot along with the other mid table clubs.