As Arsenal wrestle with several clubs to try and exact full market value for their players, I looked back at some of the biggest hits Arsenal have taken in windows gone by.

TURIN, ITALY - OCTOBER 01: Aron Ramsey of FC Juventus looks during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen at Juventus Arena on October 1, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY – OCTOBER 01: Aron Ramsey of FC Juventus looks during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen at Juventus Arena on October 1, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

AS Roma are trying to pay well under Granit Xhaka’s value as are Inter Milan with Hector Bellerin but whatever fees they end up paying, the hit won’t be as large as some of the others Arsenal have taken in previous transfer windows.

Looking at just players who went for £5m or more less than their value, let’s start with…

Alex Song

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29: Alex Song of Arsenal FC reacts during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
SO KON PO, HONG KONG – JULY 29: Alex Song of Arsenal FC reacts during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)

Barcelona paid £17.1m for the midfielder in 2012 and while they will no doubt insist, strenuously, that they vastly overpaid for Song, he was actually worth £22.5m at the time of his move.

Alex Song: I knew I wouldn’t play much at Barcelona but…

Loss – £5.4m

Gael Clichy

Arsenal's French player Gael Clichy gestures after lossig 3-1 their Champions League round of 16, 2nd leg football match FC Barcelona vs Arsenal on March 8, 2011 at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE
Arsenal’s French player Gael Clichy gestures after lossig 3-1 their Champions League round of 16, 2nd leg football match FC Barcelona vs Arsenal on March 8, 2011 at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE

The defender signed for Manchester City for £6.98m in 2011 when he was just 25, almost half his £13.5m market value.

Clichy said he left Arsenal because he didn’t feel wanted.

Loss – £6.52m

Ashley Cole

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal's Thierry Henry (C) is congratulated by team mates from left Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and Rami Shaaban after scoring against Tottenham during a premier league match at Highbury Stadium in north London, 16 November 2002. AFP PHOTO/ODD ANDERSEN - - ONLINE INTERNET USE SUBJECT TO FAPL LICENSE - - (Photo credit should read Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal’s Thierry Henry (C) is congratulated by team mates from left Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and Rami Shaaban after scoring against Tottenham during a premier league match at Highbury Stadium in north London, 16 November 2002.  (Photo credit should read Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

We all know what happened here. We sold Ashley Cole and got William Gallas.

When Cole was probably the best left-back on the planet, Arsenal received, in monetary terms, the equivalent of £6.66m (for real). Chelsea got a player who helped them win the league, Arsenal got a player who pi**ed all over the number 10 shirt and huffed in the centre circle.

Loss – £8.64m+

Bacary Sagna

Bacary Sagna
Bacary Sagna

Another who headed to Manchester City, Sagna was worth £10.8m but we let him run down his contract and leave for nothing.

Loss – £10.8m

Patrick Vieira

Arsenal's Invincibles LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal's Patrick Vieira (L) and Thierry Henry celebrate after winning the Premiership title and defeating Leicsester City 15 May, 2004 at Highbury in London. Arsenal defeated Leicester City 2-1 and finish the season undefeated. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Invincibles LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira (L) and Thierry Henry celebrate after winning the Premiership title and defeating Leicsester City 15 May, 2004 at Highbury in London. Arsenal defeated Leicester City 2-1 and finish the season undefeated. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON

Vieira explained that he left Arsenal because of the rise of Cesc Fabregas and he could ‘smell’ that his time at the club was over. Worth £31.5m at the time, Arsenal got just £13.5m from Juventus.

Loss – £18m

Robin van Persie

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Robin van Persie of Manchester United appeals to the referee after he fouled Per Mertesacker of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on April 28, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 28: Robin van Persie of Manchester United appeals to the referee after he fouled Per Mertesacker of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on April 28, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

‘Hey guys!’ Other moves have cost Arsenal more money than this one, but have any been as cnuty?

The Dutchman practically wheeled out his whole family to convince Arsenal fans that he would sign a new deal, only to then try and turn the fans against the club when the club didn’t give him what he wanted.

Before van Persie had even left for Manchester United, he was hated by the Arsenal fan base and they were singing his song to Lukas Podolski. That he insisted on only joining Sir Alex Ferguson, thus joining a rival and ensuring his transfer fee stayed low, just cemented his role as one of Arsenal’s biggest villains.

Van Persie was worth around £42.75m. Arsenal sold him for £27.63m.

Loss – £15.12m

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Arsenal's Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (L) and Arsenal's Spanish defender Nacho Monreal (R) react to another missed chance during the pre-season friendly football match for the Emirates Cup between Arsenal and Lyon at The Emirates Stadium in north London on July 28, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (L) and Arsenal’s Spanish defender Nacho Monreal (R) react to another missed chance during the pre-season friendly football match for the Emirates Cup between Arsenal and Lyon at The Emirates Stadium in north London on July 28, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

Arsenal cancelled Henrikh Mkitaryan’s contract when he was worth £18m so he could leave for free to join Roma. Mkhitaryan and his agent did pay a compensation fee of £1m, so that was nice.

Loss – £17m

Jack Wilshere

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal reacts to going down injured during the UEFA Europa League group H match between Arsenal FC and Crvena Zvezda at Emirates Stadium on November 2, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 02: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal reacts to going down injured during the UEFA Europa League group H match between Arsenal FC and Crvena Zvezda at Emirates Stadium on November 2, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Another Arsenal let run down their contract meaning they got nothing for him.

Loss – £18m

Cesc Fabregas

Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas (L) greets Barcelona's Argentine striker Lionel Messi (R) before their UEFA Champions League round of 16, 1st leg football match against Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium, London, England, on February 16, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS
Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas (L) greets Barcelona’s Argentine striker Lionel Messi (R) before their UEFA Champions League round of 16, 1st leg football match against Barcelona at the Emirates Stadium, London, England, on February 16, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS

Cesc Fabregas was always going to return to Barcelona but the manner in which he went about things meant Arsenal were never going to be able to get his full market value. Worth £48m, Barcelona paid £30.6m, and they are probably still paying that off.

Loss – £18m

Thierry Henry

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 09: A detail view if the Thierry Henry statue before the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on January 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 09: A detail view if the Thierry Henry statue before the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on January 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Another player Arsenal sold for almost half his value, although there is no denying Henry had more than earned the right to move to the club of his choice.

He was valued at £40.5m when he signed for Barcelona. They paid £21.6m.

Loss – £18.9m

Alexis Sanchez

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United looks dejected in defeat after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Sevilla FC at Old Trafford on March 13, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United looks dejected in defeat after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Sevilla FC at Old Trafford on March 13, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

When Alexis Sanchez moved to Manchester United and Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved the other way, the Chilean was worth £63m and the Armenian was worth £31.5m.

This was a rare example of a deal in which everybody involved lost.

Loss – £31.5m

Aaron Ramsey

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal, holding one of his children, acknowledges the crowd as he says farewell to the club following the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on May 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 05: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal, holding one of his children, acknowledges the crowd as he says farewell to the club following the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on May 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The biggest financial hit Arsenal have suffered was in allowing Aaron Ramsey to walk out the door for nothing when he was worth £36m.

He had a contract offer, he was ready to sign it, then Arsenal decided they wanted neither the player nor the money they could have asked for when if sold him after he re-signed.

Loss – £36m

Total – £198.48m

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.