The 10 Arsenal signings that cost £30million+ and how they fared

Quick Reads

After struggling for money following their move to the Emirates, Arsenal have really started to splash the cash in recent years. 

Fabio Vieira has become the 11th player to join the Gunners in a deal worth over £30million, and if reports are to be believed Brazilian duo Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha could be next in line to bolster Mikel Arteta’s squad in big-money moves.

We’ve taken a closer look at Arsenal’s 10 signings to cost £30million+ to date.

Martin Odegaard – £30m

He wasn’t always brilliant during his first full season at the Emirates, but he’s ever-improving and shown some real quality.

One of the key reasons for Arsenal fans to be optimistic about the project Arteta is building at Arsenal, and worthy of wearing the Gunners’ No.8 shirt – following in the footsteps of some truly brilliant players.

READ: Ranking every player to wear No.8 for Arsenal in the Premier League

Alexis Sanchez – £32m

Deemed surplus to requirements by Barcelona, Sanchez was snapped up by Arsenal in 2014 and proved to be an absolute bargain.

The one-man swarm of wasps terrorised opposition defences and scored an incredible 80 goals in 166 appearances for the club, winning two FA Cups in the process.

He made a controversial and incredibly ill-judged move to Manchester United in January 2018 but that still shouldn’t taint his legacy at the Emirates.

Granit Xhaka – £34m

Since joining Arsenal from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2016, Xhaka has certainly polarised opinion amongst the fanbase.

He has been prone to costly individual errors and was stripped of the club captaincy after telling his own fans to “fuck off” in October 2019.

The 29-year-old has, however, made 250 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners and doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves. He was among their better performers in 2021-22.

Shkodran Mustafi – £35m

When‌ ‌Arsenal‌ ‌signed‌ ‌a‌ ‌World‌ ‌Cup-winning‌ ‌defender‌ ‌for‌ ‌£35million‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌summer‌ ‌of‌ ‌2016, they hoped that their defensive frailties would be a thing of the past. 

While Mustafi made over 150 appearances for the club, he rarely exuded calm in the Gunners backline and had more than his fair share of calamitous moments. 

After falling down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta, the centre-back was allowed to join Schalke on a free transfer in February 2021.

Mesut Ozil – £43m

Signed from Real Madrid amid much fanfare on transfer deadline day in 2013, Ozil was regarded as a real coup for the Gunners. 

The enigmatic playmaker struggled with inconsistency during his six and a half years in north London, but there was no doubting his ability. 

He won three FA Cups and probably deserved a Premier League winner’s medal, registering 19 assists as Arsenal finished runners-up to Leicester in the 2015-16 season. 

Thomas Partey – £45m

Following a long transfer saga, Arsenal eventually agreed to pay the £45million release clause in Partey’s Atletico Madrid contract on transfer deadline day in 2020.

He showed why he’s regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world with a brilliant performance against Manchester United in November 2020, helping the Gunners secure their first league win at Old Trafford since 2006.

The Ghana international has been a quality addition to Arteta’s squad when fit. Unfortunately, that’s not quite been often enough. He only started 18 league games during his debut campaign and he was sidelined for the 2021-22 run-in, which coincided with Arsenal’s top-four charge falling away.

Alexandre Lacazette – £46.5m

We’re not exactly sure how to sum up Lacazette’s time at Arsenal since he joined the club from Ligue 1 side Lyon five years ago. 

He won their Player of the Season award in 2018-19 and has undoubtedly been very good at times, but he’s undoubtedly been not very good at others.

Lacazette has since left for nothing, scoring just four league goals during his final season in north London – which was despite being Arteta’s first-choice striker. 

Ben White – £50m

He’s not been perfect, but White had a decent-enough debut season at Arsenal, and his partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes looks very promising indeed.

“Ben White’s been very poor,” says Gabby Agbonlahor. “He got into the England squad before Tyrone Mings this time which I think is a disaster.”

Needless to say, we reckon Agbonlahor is talking nonsense.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – £56m

Only Thierry Henry has a better goals-per-game record than him for Arsenal in the Premier League. He was truly a revelation during his first year or two at Arsenal.

Alongside this, he led the Gunners to FA Cup success in 2020, scoring both goals in the semi-final and the final as they overcame Manchester City and Chelsea. 

Let’s just ignore how it ended, with Arsenal letting him go for free just to save on his salary. A familiar tale in recent years.

READ: Eight Arsenal heroes that left for free in the last decade: Auba, Ozil…

Nicolas Pepe – £72m

Having registered 22 league goals and 11 assists for Lille in 2018-19, expectations were high when Pepe completed a £72million move to Arsenal.

Despite displaying glimpses of his talent in 2019-20, he struggled to adapt to the Premier League, scoring just five goals in 31 league appearances. 

The Ivory Coast international did still win the FA Cup in his debut season and has shown some flashes since, but ultimately hasn’t delivered consistently or kicked on. It’s now looking distinctly unlikely it’ll ever happen for him at the Emirates.

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