The £210million losses Arsenal have made on sales in the last five years

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While Arsenal have been criticised for their poor recruitment in recent years, they’ve also struggled to make money when selling players.

The appointments of Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat in 2018 were tipped to transform Arsenal’s transfer business, but they have both since left the club.

We’ve looked at the 15 players Arsenal have sold at a loss in the last five years.

Mesut Ozil 

After completing a £42.5million move to Arsenal in 2013, Ozil won three FA Cups in his first four years in England while providing some astonishing moments of class. 

But things went downhill for the midfielder following Arsene Wenger’s retirement, with both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta freezing him out of the team.

Desperate to get his £350,000 a week wages off the books for good, Arsenal terminated his contract six months prematurely in January 2021.

READ: Where are they now? Arsenal’s XI from Mesut Ozil’s debut v Sunderland

Shkodran Mustafi 

When Arsenal spent £35million on a World Cup-winning defender in 2016, they hoped that they had finally found the man to command their defence for a decade.

The Germany international failed to justify his price tag and instead became renowned for making calamitous errors during his four-and-a-half years at the club. 

Having made just three Premier League appearances in 2020-21, he agreed to terminate his contract in February 2021 before joining Schalke on a free transfer.


One of Unai Emery’s 12 Arsenal signings, Sokratis joined the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in a £17million deal in 2018.

The centre-back fell down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta and his contract was cancelled by mutual consent in January 2021.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 

Mkhitaryan moved to Arsenal as part of the now-infamous swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United in January 2018.

Despite registering a hat-trick of assists on his debut, the Armenia international failed to fill the void left by Sanchez’s departure. 

After a successful loan spell at Roma, he had his Arsenal contract cancelled by mutual consent in 2020, allowing him to join the Serie A side on a free transfer.

READ: PL flop? Nah, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is actually one of Europe’s best players

Laurent Koscielny 

Koscielny joined Arsenal in an £8.5million deal in 2010 and became a mainstay of their defence over the next nine years, making 353 appearances in all competitions and winning three FA Cups in the process.

He was sold to Bordeaux for £4.6million in 2019, but in this case Arsenal definitely got their money’s worth.

Takuma Asano 

Signed for £3.5million in 2016, Asano never made a first-team appearance for Arsenal and joined Partizan Belgrade in a £900,000 deal in 2019.

Nacho Monreal 

While Monreal was relatively unknown when he completed an £8.5million move to Arsenal in January 2013, he became a real fans’ favourite for his dedication to the club. 

After giving six-and-a-half years of service to the Gunners, the left-back was allowed to join Real Sociedad for just £250,000 in 2019.

Danny Welbeck 

Welbeck left boyhood club Manchester United and joined Arsenal in a £16million deal on transfer deadline day in 2014.

Despite making a strong start to life at the Emirates, the striker was plagued by injury problems and was released at the end of the 2018-19 season, having scored 32 goals in 126 appearances.

Aaron Ramsey 

Arsenal fought off competition from Manchester United and spent £4.8million to secure Ramsey’s signature in 2008.

The Wales international recovered from a broken leg and eventually delivered on his early promise, scoring FA Cup-winning goals in 2014 and 2017.

After 11 years in north London, the midfielder bid an emotional farewell to the Gunners and joined Juventus on a free transfer in 2019. 

READ: Seven of Aaron Ramsey’s best moments at Arsenal: FA Cup, Liverpool, Spurs

Lucas Perez 

According to The Athletic, Arsenal spent £17.1million on Perez in the summer of 2016 despite head of international scouting Francis Cagigao warning the club that the forward was “a mid-table player”.

The striker managed just one goal in 11 Premier League appearances for the Gunners and was sold to West Ham United in a £4million deal in 2018. 

Santi Cazorla 

After joining Arsenal from Malaga in a £15million deal in 2012, Cazorla instantly became an instant hero and almost always turned up in the big games.

Unfortunately, he spent his final two years at the club on the sidelines due to injury problems and was released in 2018. 

“When you are at a big club like Arsenal, sometimes you don’t realise what it means to be there until you are gone. I never got to say a proper goodbye,” Cazorla told The Independent in November 2019.

“It was the biggest team I played for in my career and I miss everything about Arsenal.”

READ: Eight reasons why Arsenal supporters will always love Santi Cazorla

Gabriel Paulista 

Signed for £11.3million in January 2015, Paulista averaged a yellow card every four games and was even labelled a “hot head” by Arsene Wenger. 

The Gunners were still able to recoup most of their money, selling the defender to Valencia for £10million in 2017.

Mathieu Debuchy 

Arsenal gave Newcastle £12million for Debuchy, but he suffered with long-term injury problems and made just 30 appearances in all competitions. 

After they blocked his move to Manchester United in 2016, the right-back joined Ligue 1 side Saint Etienne on a free transfer in January 2018. 

Tomas Rosicky 

Rosicky joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for £8million in 2006 and established himself as a fans’ favourite during his 10 years at the Emirates.

Having made just one appearance in 2015-16 due to injury problems, he left the Gunners upon the expiry of his contract and returned to former club Sparta Prague.

READ: Tomas Rosicky, Arsenal’s big-game hero who could have been even more

Wellington Silva 

One of Arsenal’s six wonderkids on Football Manager 2011, Arsenal agreed a £3.5million deal to sign Silva when he was just 16, meaning the forward remained at Fluminense until turning 18 in January 2011.

He was sold back to Fluminese for £2.7million in 2016, having never made a first-team appearance for the Gunners.

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