The transfer window opens in hours, so we thought we’d take a look at how much the Gunners should have available to spend in January.
Starting with the amount spent in 2017, Arsenal certainly shouldn’t be limited by their activity in the previous couple of windows.
In January the Gunners spent nothing, choosing only to loan a couple of players over the short term.
In the summer it was a different story.
According to transfermarkt.co.uk, Arsenal spent £47.70m on the signing of Alexandre Lacazette, which was the only purchase requiring a transfer fee.
On the other side of things, £61.83m was brought in by the sales of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wojciech Szczesny, Gabriel Paulista and Kieran Gibbs.
That leaves the club with a £14.13m profit to carry into January in addition to whatever else they had in the bank already.
There was talk of wages being an issue in August, as David Ornstein revealed that the Gunners didn’t feel they could afford to bring in another big money signing whilst also adhering to the Premier League’s salary control rules (as dictated by Financial Fair Play).
However, the club should have improved in this regard too. Kolašinac and Lacazette were new additions to the wage bill, but Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel, Gibbs and Sanogo left permanently to free up some space and pennies.
Joel Campbell, Lucas Perez, Carl Jenkinson, Emi Martinez and Cohen Bramall were all on the books full-time last season, but all should have their wages covered by their loan clubs now.
Calum Chambers and Jack Wilshere have gone the other way, as they were taking up Middlesbrough and Bournemouth’s wage space last season.
Obviously, Sead Kolašinac and Alexandre Lacazette are expected to be on far greater wages than any of those who left, but overall it’s four in, nine out for this season, so the hit to the budget shouldn’t be massive. Especially considering you’re allowed to up your wage spend by £7m minimum each year, before taking into account any ‘Own Revenue’ increase.
‘Own Revenue’ refers to profit made on player sales, commercial/sponsorship deals, match-day income and UEFA prize distributions, according to FinancialFairPlay.co.uk. But it doesn’t include centralised TV revenue distribution, so the Gunners can’t use the new TV deal to boost their wages.
Looking at the accounts for the current year, Arsenal’s cash at bank and in hand is down to £180.12m, from £226.46m in the prior year. So a decrease, but still a significant amount of money available.
However, the club also have a large amount owed to creditors falling due within one year.
When all debtors and creditors are taken into account, the current net assets for the club stands at £51.84m, still not a bad total.
If there are no departures, I wouldn’t expect another £90m+ bid on Thomas Lemar in January.
However, if someone leaves (especially the likes of Özil or Alexis), it’s very much within the realms of possibility.
Otherwise, the Gunners have enough to spend on a couple of good squad options, or a first-team player from a club that hasn’t made hundreds of millions over the summer like Monaco.