Alexis Sanchez reportedly looks set to leave Arsenal for £35m, while Mesut Ozil could leave for free in the summer. Why aren’t Arsenal getting true value for their talent?
Every window, other big Premier League clubs bring in mega-money for their players.
Liverpool made £145m for Philippe Coutinho, Tottenham got £85m for Gareth Bale and Chelsea sold Diego Costa for £57m even though Antonio Conte admitted he didn’t want the striker. Even the likes of Southampton can command £75m fees for their centre-backs.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s record transfer is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool for £34m. That deal in itself was a good one, as the Ox had one year left on his deal and wanted out of the club. But the Gunners have sold Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry for less money in the past, and really struggled in the summer to sell players for a good price.
It seems the Gunners are just pretty useless with contracts too, often leaving just a year or 18 months on deals before serious talks with big players are had. It’s hard to negotiate a big fee when they could be out of contract at the end of the season.
Van Dijk left Southampton with over four years left on his contract, so Liverpool had to overpay. Arsenal need to be smarter. If they want to bring in big transfer fees, they need to take advantage of every opportunity to sign up key players. They seem to wait and wait, even with players who want to stay, like Jack Wilshere.
Perhaps there’s also a sense that the club is filled with pushovers in negotiations. If Arsenal let all those star players go on the cheap in the past, why should you make them a good offer this time? Hopefully, things will change from now on.
Arsenal brought in a new Head of Contracts and a new Head of Football relations in 2017. But for now, they’re still left clearing up the mess that their predecessors made. That leaves a lot less money to work with when recruiting, and the team is suffering on the pitch as a result.