It is widely being circulated that Arsenal have budgeted about £40m net spend for this summer transfer dealings (average net spend over the past 6 years is approximately £42m @ Transferleague). If it is true some fancy footwork is needed to get us to where we want to be.
It was embarrassing at Baku, but if truth be told we played at our true level. 70 pts in the premiership and 5th position, one point from Champions league qualification is so flattering of our season’s performance. We are mystified about our poor away form. The truth is that it is our excellent home form that is the aberration. What with Newcastle about to be taken over by an Abu Dhabi Prince, Leicester and Everton surging with their top 6 ambition, our situation at this moment looks dire.
First of all we are losing the services of those whose contracts are expiring this summer: Ramsey, Cech, Welbeck, Litchtsteiner and Jenkinson. There is need to replace them.
Secondly, Koscielny at 34 years this September and Monreal at 34 the coming February are both overdue to begin to serve as back-ups. They need new players ahead of them.
Thirdly, Emery has come with a philosophy that has no place in it for Ozil. At £350k/wk (or £36.4m in the two remaining years of his contract) Ozil is too fat a salary and too big an ego to be carried along as a part player. He has to go even at the cost of leaving for free or thereabout (Transfermarkt values him @ £31.5m). There would be the need to replaced him.
With respect to these eight players mentioned above, the minimum that should be expected of our summer activity is four signings who should be 1st team players: two players to take over the starter roles from Koscielny (CD) and Monreal (LB) and another two players to replace Ramsey (CM) and Ozil (AM). The four signings should be such as to add quality and balance to the team.
As a model for examining how our budgeting can hold I have selected four such players that we’ve been linked to for these four positions. The amounts against their names are the Transfermarkt.com valuations of the players which are reasonable estimates to work with:
CD ~~ Kostas Manolas, 27yrs, £40.5m, AS Roma until 22, (WhoScored rating 6.89).
LB ~~ Nicolas Tagliafico, 26 yrs, £22.5m, Ajax until 22, (WhoScored rating 7.47).
CM ~~ Adrien Rabiot: 24 yrs, £31.5m, PSG until 19, (WhoScored rating 7.31).
AM ~~ Nicolas Pepe: 23 yrs, £36m, Lille until 22, (WhoScored rating 7.65).
The combined cost of these 4 players is £130.5m (an average of about £32.6m per signing which should be expected of a club of our stature). This combined cost of £130.5m would have exceeded our estimated net spend of about £40m by £90.5m. The deficit can only be accounted for by the sale of players.
Any imbalance in numbers between the outgoing players and the incoming has to be offset from an internal source (on-loan and academy players). So far we have identified 6 outgoing and likely outgoing players (Ramsey, Cech, Welbeck, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson and Ozil) to four incoming leaving a 2-player deficit. A 5-player maximum deficit looks a number that can be filled from within. This means that apart from Ozil, we have to sell not more than four players whose combined value should offset the cash deficit of £90.5m. Definitely one or two big names should be involved.
Here is the Transfermarkt valuation of our players excluding the 6 already earmarked as outgoing.
1). Leno (£22.4m).
2). Ospina (£4.5m).
3). Bellerin (£36.0m).
4). M-Niles (£6.3m).
5). Mustafi (£27.0m).
6). Sokratis (£18.0m).
7). Koscielny (£9.0m).
8). Mavropanos (£2.7m).
9). Holden (£10.8m)
10). Chambers (£12.6m).
11). Monreal (£9.0m). It is believed that his 1yr extension deal has been activated.
12). Kolasinac (£18.0m). High wage of £119.5k/wk to performance level should reduce sell value to about £10m. (All wages from Mirror UK).
13). Torreira (£49.5m).
14). Elneny (£9.0m).
15). Guendouzi (£27.0m).
16). Xhaka (£45.0m).
17). Mkhitaryan (£27.0m). High wage of £180k/wk to performance level should reduce sell value to about £12m.
18). Iwobi (£22.5m).
19). Lacazette (£58.5m).
20). Aubamayang (£67.5m).
The academy players are not listed as their market values make little difference.
Decision on who to sell does not depend only on unsatisfactory performance. Other considerations could include the balance of the team as well as attractive sell values of players.
Apart from Ozil who is already gone by this post, to meet the different requirements, the others to be sold wouldn’t be far away from: Lacazette or Aubamayang and the three of Kolasinac, Mkhitaryan, Elneny. Don’t forget that if for example Laca (£58.5m) is sold, the fund realized would fetch us, in this model used, a certain Nicolas Pepe (£36m) with 22 goals and 11 assists in Ligue1 competition alone (nothing lost offensively) plus Nicolas Tagliafico (£22.5m) an Argentine international left back who is reputed for his boundless energy.
In case you are wondering, Mustafi has not escaped my thoughts. Maitland-Niles would return to his preferred midfield role and Mustafi becomes the back-up to Bellerin. The sales or non sales of players are not necessarily according to likes and dislikes.
This post is premised on a £40m net spend. I’d rather that Kroenke splash-the-cash, say in the neighbourhood of £150m so we don’t begin to sell our tested and trusted.
BK needs your opinion on the five players you want sold to net us about £90m courtesy Transfermarkt.com valuation. The King is dead, long live the King!