Mind-blowing numbers show how player hoarding is crippling AFC transfer ambition

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Very difficult to piece what the heck is going on with players this summer. Yeah, it’s a ‘heck’ kind of day here.

There seem to be many conflicting narratives rolling in the gossip ether, which either means there’s a grain of truth in all of it, or there’s a lot of misinformed nonsense going on at the same time.

Here are the narratives:

Alexis and Ozil haven’t signed so we can’t move on other names

This really is a major issue. Firstly, the club should have set some hard and fast deadlines on this. Wenger’s selfish pursuit of a new deal on his terms not only screwed our summer planning, but I’d say it’s contributed to the club taking its eye off the ball on our two biggest names. The reason this story has truth to it is twofold, firstly, we’d have to replace big ticket players with big ticket signings and because of the uniqueness of the players talent, we might have to rethink our whole setup. The second is another story line…

New Premier League cost measures are impacting us

This from Jack Pitt-Brooke:

‘Arsenal are wary of the Premier League’s cost control measures that restrict how much a wage bill can increase year on year. If Arsenal’s 2017-18 wage bill is more than £7m higher than it was last year, as it would be if Ozil and Sanchez signed, they would have to make up the excess through extra external revenue, most likely player sales.’

At a proper club, this simply wouldn’t be a problem because a plan would be in place so the club could invest whatever the situation. But Arsenal’s insistence on hoarding players on mega money, and rewarding absolute pish with bigdeals, could be biting us. As it stands, our wiggle room on wages is £134ka week (£7m p/a) , well short of what it’d take to keep Ozil and Sanchez.

Here is my fag packet analysis on why the fear of us not being able to make good on better deals for our best players is etiher a convenient way of diverting attention from us losing big names because we’re shite, or it’s just kind of lazy analysis of the big problem we have at the club with expensive dross (a repeat of the deadwood scenario we had post Project Youth, read this 2011 post for context and sigh about another issue Wenger never improves on).

The Dross 11:

  • Jack Wilshere – 0
  • Chezzer – 0
  • Ospina – 13
  • Gibbs – 18
  • Jenks – 5
  • Santi – 3
  • Theo – 29
  • Debuchy – 1
  • Giroud – 17
  • Perez – 9
  • Yaya – 0

Total starts: 95

Average starts per player: 8.6

Total Arsenal Games played last season: 55

Average first team utilisation of Dross 11 – 15.6%

So what we’ve learned from above, is these players barely touch the sides, bar two who contribute goals in Theo and Giroud.

Here’s what these guys cost us.

  • Jack Wilshere – £90k p/w
  • Chezzer – £100k p/w
  • Ospina – £40k p/w
  • Gibbs – £65k p/w
  • Jenks – £45k p/w
  • Santi – £90k p/w
  • Theo – £110k p/w
  • Debuchy – £70k p/w
  • Giroud – £100k p/w
  • Perez – £70k p/w
  • Yaya – £40k p/w

= £820k per week

= £42.64m

= £448,842 per appearance

So what could we expect to recoup in value?

  • Jack Wilshere – £20m
  • Chezzer – £14m
  • Ospina – £3.5
  • Gibbs – £15m
  • Jenks – £5m
  • Santi – £0m
  • Theo – £25m
  • Debuchy – £3m
  • Giroud – £20m
  • Perez – £15m
  • Yaya – £0m

= £120m

So in effect, we could bring in an additional £120m in transfer fees (plus the £120m already available), we could give ourselves £820k a week to give new deals to the players that matter, PLUS the £134k a week we already have to add to the wage bill.

Total incoming – £120m

Transfer budget – £120m

Salary budget – £954,615

As you can see, we’re in pretty good shape. Well, we could be. Trouble is, we don’t have a DOF like me to take care of things. A plan should have been set in motion months ago, we should have homes for all the above players right now and we should be well on our way to making the squad competitive next year. The only two players you could potentially argue about keeping are Giroud and Theo. Reality is neither are good enough and we could get good wedge for both. Keeping any of the others is negligence in my opinion… but the real negligence is that Arsenal are making a big deal out of a situation they could own and use to transform a drab squad into something quite spectacular.

Right, I gave up on the rest of the narrative. Here’s a blueprint for Ivan and Wenger. Make it happen and stop bitching to the press that football is so hard.

See you in the comments.


204 Responses to “Mind-blowing numbers show how player hoarding is crippling AFC transfer ambition”

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  1. Tomtom

    Poor display from the lions, all blacks took there chances well though.
    Maybe lions lacked mental strength 🙂

  2. Bamford10

    While I would have preferred a Belotti, I think Lacazette could be a very good striker for us. However, he must be surrounded by the right pieces to be effective in the PL or CL, as he is not good enough in himself to be the focal point of an attack or to create tons of chances on his own. To be effective, he will need a top quality attacking player both to his right and to his left. If we keep Alexis, that’s one side taken care of. But we still need another attacking piece, I’d say, as neither Ox nor Welbeck are quite good enough

  3. Tomtom

    I watched Lacazette against Monaco and a few other good teams and he was in the pocket of the defense.
    He will make no impact with us and just be another name to add to our underperforming list of players.
    Wenger certainly won’t help him improve.
    Sad and frustrating times ahead

  4. TOLI83

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Lacazette and Ian Wright type player.

    Will score goals but only if the team is built around him?

    More of a poacher than someone who will turn and best 2/3 players and create something…

    Happy with that however we need to keep Sanchez as he is the only one who has that magic to make something out of nothing in my opinion.

    Walcott, Welbeck and Perez (not because he isn’t good enough, Wenger doesn’t like him) should all be moved on.

  5. TOLI83

    See your point Wallace, Welbeck just isn’t clinical enough.

    In a big game you wouldn’t want a chance to fall to him.

  6. Bamford10


    Except that Welbeck isn’t quite good enough — though I agree he has some good qualities — and Ozil isn’t a scorer and doesn’t run at defenders. A front three of Alexis, Lacazette and Ozil wouldn’t be bad, but I don’t think we win the league with it.

  7. TOLI83

    We don’t really have a decent winger in the squad, someone who is an out an out man on the flanks.

    Pires, Freddy, Overmars Esque.

    Salah will do well in the role for Liverpool. Pedro nails it for Chelsea, Sterling & Sane for City.

    Lemar is the obvious choice for me.

    Lacazatte with Sanchez always looking to cut in and Lemar on the other flank would be dangerous with Ozil behind.

    I’ve had enough of Walcott and Welbeck types with their lack of threat and end product. It’s nonsense.

  8. useroz

    Other than being his projects, you can rest assured Wenger wouldn’t move the dross on as he likes the humility, patience, mental strength etc bull.

    Wenger will wait till Welbeck gets to 29, Gibbs/ Ramsey/ Walcott 30+, Coq 30 etc before leaving them out of the first team, and let their contracts run out. Debuchy/ Jenk etc expensive (wages) dross would likely see out the contracts and Arsenal may not get a dime.

    Just look at Rosicky, Diaby, 50m-sanogo, etc. Any sane persons would have sold them much earlier. Cazorla probably in the same mould as his contract expiry unfolds…

    Wenger and cohort have no fucking ambition. That explains their behaviours in the TW and the rubbish management of contracts that resulted in massive revenue leakages. Forgot about BIG name WC signings (unless Wenger is facing the sack which he won’t!).

    Lacazette is probably best we’d hope for under the circumstances. The Mbappe is a pipe dream if it happened.

    The issue is Sanchez’s contract renewal. With the TV money etc no way Arsenal can afford to let it run out. For Sanchez easily 60-70m market value if under contract. Promise anything and get it signed and sell if necessary. Look at how slick L’pool fucked Wenger in the Suaraz saga…and made 10 of millions more when dumped him in the next TW!!

  9. Dissenter

    Athleticism have a good nose for elite strikers. They have had Falcao, Aguero,Greizmann, Robert Costa and Carrasco. The only mistake they made was Jackson Martinez and they even managed to turn this into a €10 million profit in six months.
    Lacqzete would have been unveiled as an Atletico player had the transfer ban not been effective.
    Like I said before, I would take the judgment of Atletico scouts over the doomsayers that are slating him as not good enough.
    Hopefully we move on one of Welbeck, Walcott and Walcott. Giroud will definitely leave because he can’t afford to be benched for Lacazette due to the national team selection.

  10. Samir

    If we’re sticking with this new formation there is no way we’ll get Lemar in unless Sanchez leaves.

    Why can’t West Ham take Walcott off our hands, sure he’d be great there.

  11. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Bamford…you really believe Lacazette would be an upgrade on what we currently have up front? For me he’s another Welbeck…some movement with little true ball sense. It’s obvious we are either not in for the real talent or Wenger’s being the dithering cheapskate on the transfer market again.

  12. Adam A. Carbarundum

    Must be beyond difficult these days for Pedro to get up to write a blog for a team that so totally lacks ambition to win. Downright depressing knowing this season will be exactly the same as last.

    Must be great to work for an owner who has never put a dollar of his own into the product, yet be able to withdraw from it at will simply because he can.

  13. Bamford10


    As I’ve said, I don’t think Lacazette has everything, but is he a better CF than Welbeck? I’d say yes, by some distance. Look at his goal tallies. Look at the kind of goals he scores. He’s a finisher. Welbeck is nothing of the kind, would never score that many goals or those kinds of goals for Lyon. Indeed finishing is what Welbeck most lacks. If he was even a decent finisher he might be a very decent player.

    So yes, I do think Lacazette can improve us, but he doesn’t have everything and he needs to be surrounded by very good pieces.

  14. Jordan

    Lacazette just another Welbeck? He’s scored about the same amount of goals in 1 season than Welbeck has in his whole career, I know people seem keen to criticize him but this is just getting ridiculous now.

  15. GuNZ

    I just noted I put an extra ‘n’ in my name. But it’s still me. My word I’m fucking wasted, But, by The Fucking Fates, I called that fucking rugby score. What a fucking hero! If only my fucking punts to get rid of the senile poodle bum-bandit would come to the same pass.

  16. Gooner63


    Lacazette looking likely with Giroud out – can only see if the guy can produce the goals he has in the last 2 seasons

    Mbappe lookin a maybe – if Alexis goes then i guess we can only hope

    Independent saying 7 to leave including ox to liverpool

    maybe just maybe – this might be a season of change

    10 weeks of hoping

  17. TOLI83

    Bamford makes a point.

    At Athletico a lot of strikers will flourish given Simeone is one of the most sort after managers in the World currently with modern adaptable tactics. Additionally supported by players like Griezeman it’s harder to fail.

    Lacazette is a strong player, no doubt. However if Wenger starts Theo alongside and Ramsey taking 5/6 passes before supplying him then it’s all a bit pointless. He’ll need service and players around him to stretch defences and create space.

  18. Ishola70

    ” However if Wenger starts Theo alongside and Ramsey taking 5/6 passes before supplying him then it’s all a bit pointless”

    Yeah Lacazette is at his best linking up with players with quick one two passing. He likes to do everything at a quick pace.

  19. Adam A. Carbarundum

    If Lacazette is the best that Wenger can do to fill the Striker void, then we are truly good and f’d. We have the money, but a truly shit manager to spend it with.

  20. Ishola70

    Adam A. Carbarundum:
    “If Lacazette is the best that Wenger can do to fill the Striker void, then we are truly good and f’d. We have the money, but a truly shit manager to spend it with.”

    Can you give an example of a realistic target that you wished to see come in as striker?

    Who are you pining for? Belotti? Icardi? No-one goes in for Icardi because he’s a bit of a knob as a person and has lots of baggage and a soap opera will follow him at any club he would join. That’s why no-one is ever linked to him moving away from Inter.

    Aubameyang? So far he has only been linked to a club with Champions League football and that club went cold on him. Also saw a big pay day playing in China fall through. Eerily quiet regarding other big clubs making a move for him. Wonder why.

    It’s no good quoting Manchester United or Chelsea signing big players with no Champions League, They operate on a different scale on the transfer market but not only that they are clubs that have won the big trophies in recent memory rather than a club that hasn’t seen one of the big trophies coming up now for what will be two decades before too long.

    That is the reality of it.

  21. TOLI83

    It’s like we are crying out for a winger.

    If we’d have got Mane for example last year I believe that would have given us much more balance and less predictable down the flanks.

    This year Wenger will either;

    A) not buy a winger
    B ) go for Mahrez, a cheap option, player likely to go missing when chips are down
    C) compete with the big boys and aggressive get Lemar

    If Sanchez stays or goes we still need this purchase in my opinion. Worryingly A&B look a lot more likely.

  22. Frost

    Lemar would be good, but i highly doubt we bring him in without someone leaving, especially if we sticking to the 3-4-2-1.

    Surprised it’s sort of going under the radar how he basically had a better season than Bernardo Silva. In all departments too.

    Article I’m reading – “Lemar is 21 years old to Silva’s 22. Lemar created 2.2 chances per appearance to Silva’s 1.6. Lemar scored 14 goals to Silva’s 10. Lemar assisted 14 goals to Silva’s 11. The list goes on, pass completion, ball retention, ball winning – it all ends with Lemar being on top.”

    You could buy him as a quality backup to Ozil & Sanchez but no way Wenger would spend £30+M for that.

  23. Ishola70

    Doubt Arsenal would have a clear run on Lemar.

    If Monaco except bids for him expect other big clubs to be interested as well.

  24. Adam A. Carbarundum

    @Ishola…we already have a striker, one who for whatever reason is not getting games, Perez. Honestly, how much worse can he be than what we already have? He’s never been given a fair chance to prove himself. Why overpay big for someone like Lacazette? Did we not learn enough from last year on overpaying for the stiff that is Mustafi? Overpaid for the rash challenges of Xhaka? I am fully aware that Arsenal have proclaimed themselves unable to spend with the big boys, despite having two billionaire owners who refuse to spend a nickel of their own money.

    Nothing to lose and nothing really to look forward to for the next couple of years. Make due with what you have, but at least play what you have to their positions.

  25. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah Lemar is the one for me. Would really like to see him at Arsenal, he has great work rate as well and does not mind getting stuck in.

    The ideal situation would be Sanchez stays, Ozil goes and Lemar comes in to replace him. Sanchez and Lemar as the attacking element of our midfield would be something.

    I think rather like Kante at Leicester where Vardy and Mahrez hogged the plaudits, Lemar went a little under the radar because of Mbappe and Silva.

  26. Wenker-wanger

    Wengers signings will only partly arrest the slow backward slide.
    It’s not just slotting a few decent players in, there needs a total renovation from the keeper to the striker. Playing in a quicker more dynamic manner. We have some really good players, playing in an unbalanced, inconsistent set-up.
    A totally new approach is required…. and predictably it starts with the total removal of Wenger.
    A decent coach would assess each players strengths and sell the dross, re-position where necessary ensure a proper captain is on the pitch and demand nothing less than 100%.
    You can see how short of all these commonplace attributes our hostage-taking manager is.

  27. Ishola70

    Adam A. Carbarundum:
    “we already have a striker, one who for whatever reason is not getting games, Perez. Honestly, how much worse can he be than what we already have? He’s never been given a fair chance to prove himself. Why overpay big for someone like Lacazette? Did we not learn enough from last year on overpaying for the stiff that is Mustafi? Overpaid for the rash challenges of Xhaka? I am fully aware that Arsenal have proclaimed themselves unable to spend with the big boys, despite having two billionaire owners who refuse to spend a nickel of their own money. Nothing to lose and nothing really to look forward to for the next couple of years. Make due with what you have, but at least play what you have to their positions.”

    Perez has looked tidy but Lacazette has the bigger profile as a player.

    Xhaka was just a silly signing from Wenger and many didn’t realise that Xhaka was/is going to need a wet nurse to play alongside him. Many fans didn’t realise this but the scouts and Wenger should have known this.

    As for Mustafi said on here soon as he was signed that he was a rash defender who went to ground far too often.

    So two poor judgement signings but Lacazette shows that he is worth a shout. Whether he becomes a great signing who knows. He is about the best the club can do in that position atm with no CL football and as said such a long time not winning the big trophies.

    It’s not about money with Arsenal. They could go out and buy a 100m player tomorrow. It’s targeting the player. It’s no good having big money to spend if the on the field playing profile of the club doesn’t match the expectation of the player.

    I think it is embarrassing and quite tragic that hardly any youngsters from within the club have progressed into becoming first teamers over so many years. A huge indictment on Wenger that considering the position the club finds itself in . This just under the elite. In such a position you would think a huge focus would be on producing homegrown players.

  28. Cesc Appeal

    Bonucci and Sandro on Chelsea’s radar, both would be great acquisitions. Can see Bonucci coming off as well given his fallout this year with Allegri.

  29. Cesc Appeal

    Picture taken of Giroud at Lyon airport, possible legs to this swap story then.

    Would be nice to see Arsenal getting business done, but if the price if £50 Million and Giroud as well that is too strong I think, essentially £70-80 Million you are paying for Lacazette.

    If it is £50 Million and that includes the value of Giroud, fair enough, good deal.

  30. Ishola70

    lol you can just see the meltdown can’t you if the swap deal goes ahead and Giroud tears it up in the French League and Lacazette disappoints at Arsenal.

  31. Wenker-wanger

    Wenger and lacazette are the perfect match…..I would say the deal is on.
    For what it’s worth I would keep giroud….. He is a good scorer off the bench, great in the air. Very very useful. Not Costa or Sanchez or Kane, but very useful.

  32. Bamford10

    A 30-year-old Lamppost won’t be “tearing” any league up. He’s a good second-choice striker at best. We went with him as our #1 got way, way too long, and while I agree he would make for a solid back-up, you don’t win titles on the basis of your back-up.

    I, for one, would not be unhappy to see Giroud go.

  33. Cesc Appeal


    £44 Million with Giroud included is a decent deal. If it is £44 Million and Giroud as well then that is about £64-74 Million which becomes a bit strong and I would much rather look elsewhere.

    Quite amazing though that Giroud is going to be shown the door and yet Walcott still lingers like a fart after you have eaten scrambled eggs, just will not f**k off.

  34. TR7

    Giroud is one of the few useful players in our squad whether you like him or not. There are at least 10 other players who should be gotten rid of before we even think about offloading Giroud. Besides if Giroud is not going win us the league, Lacazzete alone isn’t going to either.

  35. Tonyd

    Lacacette seems to have a lot going for him for a 21 year old but not too much experience.

    My concern is how quickly he can adjust to the EPL? Players normally take at least one season.

    If he’s our only new forward signing then what do we do if he gets injured?

    Whoever we buy, if we sell Sanches, that player will have to hit the ground running and be a consistent scorer quickly. He’ll be overplayed by necessity by Wenger.

    I’m not against him coming, but Lemar is also a must buy player to provode assists and score goals, and a box to box player is imperative because I don’t see Ramsey doing anything but be ordinary as he has been for most of his time with us bar one season.

  36. karim


    Lacazette’ s 26


    Giroud comes from Grenoble, so that may explain the pic as it’s close to Lyon.

  37. Wenker-wanger

    Where’s the “we’re not going to win the league with giroud or lacazette” coming from?
    With respect chaps, is winning the league anything but fantasy?
    I’ve said giroud is good enough for Wenger’s arsenal as an impact player….and Wenger’s arsenal is currently 5th and personally I see his arsenal as managing no more than 4th next season.
    Wish I could be more optimistic.but as it stands I cannot see it.
    Be good to watch new arsenal players though.

  38. Cesc Appeal


    Fair enough, that is probably more reasonable. Going to visit his family.

    Though he probably ‘missed’ his flight, made it all the way to the gate and then just ‘missed’ it.

  39. Tonyd

    Thanks for putting me right I got confused with Lemar’s age while trying to catch up with today’s and last night’s blog.

    It’s getting late here and tiredness is setting in.

    Then I think it’s just the adapting to the EPL etc that would concern me.

  40. karim


    Then, he gazed at the departure screen in despair but I bet he’s got enough mental strength for the next flight !


  41. goonerboy

    The reason we have gone from the invincibles to the expendables is because of poor judgement regarding homegrown playersand massive indecision when it comes to buying new players-a Wenger trademark. I am not confident we will get Lacazette or anyone else worth having- because Wenger always aims high but has never been prepared to pay high.. We are more likely to sell the Ox- if Liverpool offer 30m and Sanchez- because he wants to go. History shows us that Wenger will always sell to the highest bidder whoever they are.