London, UK. 8th November, 2018. Alex Iwobi of Arsenal - Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon, UEFA Europa League - Group E, Emirates Stadium, London (Holloway) - 8th November 2018

Arsenal’s meagre 10 biggest sales since Arsene Wenger left in 2018

Arsenal have spent considerable funds in the transfer market since Arsene Wenger departed the Emirates in 2018, spending over half a billion pounds on star signings like Declan Rice, Gabriel Jesus, Ben White and Thomas Partey.

The club have recouped considerably less over the same period, resulting in a net spend that far exceeds the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City over the past five years.

The Gunners’ record sale remains Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who left in Wenger’s last summer window in 2017, joining Liverpool for £35million. There are concerns that Arsenal may need to bring in more funds in the transfer market if they’re to balance the books and remain FFP compliant.

Here are the club’s 10 biggest sales since Wenger departed in 2018.

10. Auston Trusty – £5million

American defender Trusty came and went without making a competitive appearance for the Gunners, but he did make them a handy profit.

He was signed from Colorado Rapids for a fee believed to be in the region of £2million. Trusty was loaned back to the MLS club before spending last term at Birmingham City and has since signed for newly-promoted Sheffield United in a £5million permanent deal.

9. Lucas Torreira – £5.5million

One of Arsenal’s first signings of the post-Wenger era, there was hope that Torreira’s energy and tenacity would make him a mainstay of their midfield for years to come.

The Uruguayan started promisingly enough to become a fan favourite of the short-lived Unai Emery reign but he struggled for consistency and spent his latter years on the periphery, loaned out to Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina before being sold to Galatasaray last summer.

Arsenal ended up being sold at a £21million loss.

8. Pablo Mari – £6million

A rare European that shone in South America, Arsenal signed Spanish centre-back Mari originally on loan from Flamengo after his starring role in their 2020 Copa Libertadores victory.

Despite being injured for most of that initial loan, Edu sanctioned a reported £6.8million transfer for the defender in the summer of 2020.

Mari struggled to establish himself in Arsenal’s best XI and moved on for a slight loss after a permanent clause was triggered following Monza’s Serie A survival last season.

7. Krystian Bielik – £7.5million

Having originally been signed as a promising 17-year-old from Legia Warsaw, Bielik only made a couple of League Cup appearances for Arsenal but impressed in a series of Football League loans.

In 2019, Championship side Derby County made the astonishing decision to sign the Polish utility man for a £7.5million fee. No wonder they ended up relegated to League One amid financial difficulties.

Bielik struggled with injuries during his time at Pride Park and was eventually sold on to Birmingham City at an inevitable, considerable loss.

6. Matteo Guendouzi – £9million

One to be filed alongside Torreira in starting out promisingly before swiftly declining, Guendouzi’s time at Arsenal was a curious ride.

The scrappy midfielder’s attitude seemed to rub Mikel Arteta up the wrong way. He was sold to Marseille after impressing on loan and has since rebuilt his reputation in his home country.

Guendouzi has been capped seven times by France after returning to Ligue 1, although he’s suffered a setback with a mare – an own goal and a missed penalty – in Marseille’s disastrous Champions League qualifier defeat to Panathinaikos. He’s since been loaned out to Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio.

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5. Matt Turner – £10million

Lots of goalkeepers have come and gone at the Emirates over recent seasons, although things seem pretty settled now with Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya two very solid options competing for the spot between the sticks.

American ‘keeper Turner only spent one season at the club after arriving from New England Revolution in 2022. He only appeared in the cups and never looked likely to usurp Ramsdale, but he netted the Gunners a tidy £4.5million profit when he was sold to Nottingham Forest for £10million.

4. Granit Xhaka – £21.5million

When Xhaka swore at his own fans and was stripped of the captaincy, it seemed impossible that he would ever leave behind a positive legacy at Arsenal.

But the Switzerland international knuckled down admirably and was one of Arteta’s outstanding players in last season’s surprise title charge.

He leaves the Emirates with his head held high, bringing the club £21.5million in the process. It’s early days, but Xhaka has made an exceptional start for Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen. Will Arteta regret letting him go?

3. Emiliano Martinez – £17million

The Argentinian ‘keeper made more appearances in the cup competitions than the Premier League for Arsenal and waved goodbye after lifting the FA Cup in 2020.

Martinez’s decision to leave for more regular first-team football was vindicated by becoming Argentina’s No.1 and one of their most important players as they lifted the Copa America and World Cup.

He’s also undoubtedly among Aston Villa’s top performers. For a time, Arsenal might’ve regretted backing Bernd Leno and allowing him to go, but they ought to be satisfied enough with their goalkeeping options now.

2. Joe Willock – £25million

Newcastle United’s last big signing before the Saudi Public Investment Fund takeover, Arsenal could probably have rinsed a few more million out of the Magpies had they not dealt with Mike Ashley.

But they were also somewhat fortunate that Willock enjoyed – by some distance – the best spell of his career in a half-season loan up on Tyneside, giving the Gunners leverage for negotiations back in 2021.

While Willock remains an important part of Eddie Howe’s squad, he’s never quite hit the same heights as he did in that original loan. He’s a good player but Arsenal won’t feel remorseful about cashing in on the Hale End graduate for £25milion.

1. Alex Iwobi – £35million

Another Hale Ender that’s brought Arsenal a considerable windfall, Iwobi has had his moments at Goodison Park – particularly after adapting to a more dynamic box-to-box role in recent years – but he’s not been able to stop Everton from battling against the drop.

Recent reports have suggested that the Nigeria international could be set to return to London, with Fulham said to be interested in signing him before the window closes.

Watch this space, but whatever happens you imagine the Toffees would do well to recoup their original investment.

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