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.
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…
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.
Loss – £5.4m
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
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+
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
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
‘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
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
Another Arsenal let run down their contract meaning they got nothing for him.
Loss – £18m
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
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
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
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