Analysis – Do Arsenal have the budget to bring further growth and improvements?

Arsenal show steady growth however 2022/2023 season could be pivotal in the Gunners’ long-term strategy and vision by Tony

Let me begin by saying that whilst I was disappointed with the performances towards the tail end of the season especially given champions league qualification was in our hands, I’m proud of the performance of the team throughout the season, all things considered. This was a very young (I believe the youngest in the league), rejuvenated and much changed group of players under a manager who seems to have the right ideas and crucially the backing from the Board.

There is always a learning curve and supporters need to be prepared to back the team when they see positive changes. To me, most of what has happened over the last 24 months has been positive and, in my view, Mikel Arteta and his boys will have learned a lot from the experience gained this past year, which should stand them in good stead moving forward.

I’m also of the view that we might have had a bit of setback in terms of performances next season, had we qualified for Champions League especially given the strength in terms of quality and quantity in our squad. It would then have meant needing a substantial amount of investment to have a group of 18-20 players that can play competitively both in the PL and CL.

Whilst playing on Thursdays in Europa could be demanding physically, we will have another year to build a squad of talented footballers and be ready to compete and compete well in the CL in 2023 or 2024. I strongly believe that with right planning, backing and performances, Arsenal could be setting up a team that could consistently be in the top 4, but this process takes time and I’m all for it. This should also have happened when Wenger left but better late than never.

Arsenal’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale saves the ball from the path of Liverpool’s Portuguese striker Diogo Jota during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 16, 2022. – – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This transfer window is crucial in our endeavour to continue the rebuild. Last year’s signings especially Ramsdale, White, Tomiyasu and Odegaard were top drawer, and whilst the likes of Tavares and Lokonga did not have raving seasons they are young, and the experience will serve them better. Let’s not forget the huge task Arsenal had in letting some high wage, senior hitters go – the likes of Aubameyang, Ozil etc.

So where do we need to strengthen and what is the budget we might have? Let’s start with the budget. I would imagine it would be hard to believe Edu and Arteta would be given anything more than 100m. Funds from player sales might add to that chest, but anything more and I’d be surprised. With Lacazette going on a free, I can only imagine Pepe and Leno commanding any sort of fees. Clearly the investment in Pepe hasn’t materialised and I’d rather Arsenal cut their losses, and whilst Leno was good Ramsdale is our number 1. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think we can get 35mil for both of them combined. There are other potential permanent outgoings like Bellerin, Mari, Guendouzi, Torreira, Mavropanos (already agreed for 4.5m) etc. In my view the players currently on loan might have a future at the club are Saliba, Maitland Niles, Nelson and Balogun. Collectively I think Arsenal will probably get a further 30mil for the loan players leaving permanently, thus enhancing our total potential transfer kitty to 165mil.

Let’s look at the squad at the moment

GK – Ramsdale, Turner

CB – Gabriel, White, Holding, Saliba

LB/RB – Tomiyasu, Tierney, Cedric, Tavares

CM/DM – Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Lokonga, Elneny

RM/LM – Saka, Martinelli, ESR, Pepe

ST – Nketiah

I personally think our defence including goalkeeping have adequate players and cover. Cedric and Tavares provide adequate back up whilst Saliba adds lot of quality. We are however short on quality rest of the pitch. I’d love to see us prioritize two key positions – a solid out and out striker and a strong ball winning midfielder. Mikel Arteta plays a 4-3-2-1 of which I think Partey and Odegaard are certainty in that diamond. Odegaard plays as a Mezzala whilst I think Partey’s best role is a box-to-box midfielder. If we can get a strong DM, that would really strengthen the team. Xhaka, Elneny and Lokonga can provide cover.

I think we are looking to find another CM having been heavily linked with Tielemans who I’m a big fan of, and if that is the case then we might see Partey moving to a ball playing defensive midfielder role with Tielemans and Odegaard completing the diamond. However, if it was my money, I would buy someone like a Bissouma or Neves to take on that DM role. Let’s not forget that Maitland Niles returning will provide competition and cover both at the middle of the pitch and wing backs. His versatility cannot be understated.

Up front I feel Saka has made the RM position his own and whilst Martinelli and ESR have rapidly grown and shown they are capable; I do feel they are a year or two away from regularly playing in the XI. I would love for Arsenal to show intent and buy a top-class winger who can play LM, with Martinelli and ESR providing back up to Saka and a new LM. I hear we are linked with Serge Gnabry, and what a return that would be. I would also take Marcus Rashford in a heartbeat, if he is available and is willing to come to the Emirates.

Last and probably the most important slot we need to fill is that of a striker and it seems we have strongly been linked with Gabriel Jesus. Whilst I think he would be a good signing and can see the rationale given the way we play; I’d love for us to buy a pure striker – someone that has attributes of a Haaland or a Kane. Dusan Vlahovic would’ve been that guy but among the options available I’d like to see Victor Osimhen or Darwin Nunez. If they are overpriced, then I’d rather go for someone like Dominic Calvert Lewin over Gabriel Jesus. Dominic to me has tremendous ability and will prove people wrong with the right level of opportunities just like Aaron Ramsdale did.

So, there you have it – I’d like to prioritize a minimum of 3 key players to fill DM, RM and ST positions. And if we can get from the pool of Bissouma/Neves/Tielemans, Gnabry/Rashford, Osimhen/Nunez/DCL, then I think we will have strengthened the squad very well. I think 165m budget (discussed above) should be sufficient to bring the required 3/4 players.



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Tags budget transfer window


  1. I hope Arsenal make this experiment for their 4-3-3 formation:

    GK : Ramsdale, Turner, Hein, Okonkwo

    RB : Tomiyasu, Soares, White

    LB : Tierney, (Hickey)/ (Zinchenko)/ (Grimaldo)

    RCB : Saliba, Holding

    LCB : Magalhaes, (Ndicka)/ Mari

    CDM : Elneny, Partey, White

    RM : Odegaard, Hutchinson, Patino, Smith-Rowe

    LM : Partey, (Zinchenko), Xhaka, Smith-Rowe

    RW : Saka, Pepe

    LW : Martinelli, Tavares, Flores

    CF : Nketiah, (Embolo)/ (Kalajdzic)/ (Strand Larsen)

    1. Gai, I kind of feel there are more rumoy than reality. Arsenal seem unsure of what they want to sign teams are already signing players. Must Edu , Arteta and Arsenal wait till certain quality players are snatched away by champions league ambitious clubs. We shouldn’t always wait till last day of transfer market for cheap options.

      1. Sylva, Arsenal require several new players, because of EL next season. So I bet they’d chase players whose contracts will expire in either 2023 or 2024, to get cheaper prices

        I agree we shouldn’t do panic buying, unfortunately that’s usually the case at Arsenal

  2. As far as I’m concerned nothing has and will change in terms of Arsenal transfers.
    Still the same cycle of rewarding mediocre players in the team with huge contracts (imagine Nketieh on 100k per week around same as Mane at pool?), signing more mediocre players wether young or experienced and capping the window off with a big name signing to placate the fans.
    The same cycle of a transfer window.

    1. If Nketiah gets a 100k-a-week salary, rest assured that Saka and ESR will abandon ship as soon as the next summer transfer window comes.

      I’m more and more inclined to believe that the Nketiah stunt is aimed exactly at forcing our two best players out of the club and banking around 150 million on their transfers.

      I hope I’m wrong but I fear that “the project” is actually KSE’s attempt at emulating the way Southampton was run in the early 2010s.

  3. Agree that no recruits are needed in goal and defence, but with just another attacking midfielder and a striker needed. In my opinion we only need another defensive mid if someone from that area leaves.

  4. Setting realistic goals is key more so than budget. Is European football even worth it though? And how does European football affect League position? Leicester did not even make the EL round of 32 and finished 17 points behind us in the league. Westham got knocked out in the EL semis and finished 13 points behind us in the league. Man U got knocked out in the round of 16 in the CL and finished 11 points behind us in the league. Spurs failed in the Conference league and just beat us in the league despite a new manager and two new players in January. Neither City nor Liverpool won the CL. Only two teams City and Liverpool won a trophy. We still have a full season of rebuilding. Top 4 is the goal but not an absolute this season. I believe 5th/4th with 70 points and 1/4 final EL is the “realistic” goal for Arsenal. 70 goals in recent years was enough to get top 4 so we only need another 4 goals not fifty as some people seem to believe.
    Jesus Martinelli, Pepe, Nketiah, Balogun Marquinos Saka ESR and Odegaard are more than enough to get 70 goals. So do we need a big spend. No. Sell Niles 10m Bellerin 6m Torreira 7m Xhaka 10m. = 33m. Buy a new Striker RB and DM for a total of no more than 70m. Net spend 40m. Either bring back Saliba or sell him for another CB. Why do we over complicate and over spend when it’s so easy?

  5. It’s not just depth but upgrades as well.

    Upgrade the striker position everyone knows this, the biggest chunk of the transfer kitty. HAVE to get this one right.

    DM without a doubt, to protect the backline and be an anchor.

    Upgrade the midfield, replace Xhaka with a B2B midfielder that offers something.

    Goals, assists, creativity, something; Xhaka offers only side and back passes.

    I love Tierney, but if he can’t stay healthy for the vast majority of the year, then sell him.

    Don’t care how good he is, its worthless if he’s always crocked and injured.

    Striker, DM, and B2B are necessities this Summer, period.

    Another winger or backup fullback are not priorities like the ones I listed above.
    Top 4 should be the goal next year, and if not 3 1/2 years is patience enough to sack Arteta and get in a capable manager.

    1. We should keep PEPE and EDDIE and add Telesmens not Jesus..ADDIE and PEPE they will be the players this coming season…if Mikel can use Pepe and Nketia,we score more goals.Jesus is not our type of player.

      1. To my understanding, Pepe was brilliant on the counter at lille, but we don’t really play that way, and that’s possibly one of the major reasons it hasn’t worked out for him. He’s really talented, but not good when he has too much to think about like when he’s involved in our often slow buildup play.

  6. On the contrary imho we need a minimum of 5 new signings(2ST, DM, CM, LB) if the aim next season is to compete for top 4 and intern try to close the gap on the top 3 teams. When you add the factor of more games due to EUL football, World Cup and the introduction of 5 substitutions rule I think this is a reasonable expectation. Our squad was stretched last season.

  7. We lack several players, even if Eddie ends up staying.


    Not to mention a possible left sided CB seeing that Mari is probably off.

    We don’t have to break bank for these players, apart from the main striker.

    Grimaldo/Raum/Hickey are around 15-25m
    Ndicka around 15m
    Tielemans/Ruiz 20-30m
    Gnabry apparently 30m at most

  8. Firstly I don’t think the author of this article – all opinion of course and hearsay has any idea at all what budget we might have. Only Kroenke, Edu and MA will know this.
    If Arsenal do not have the budget to bring further growth then neither does United, Chelsea, Spurs or Liverpool whose owners have less capital than Kroenke.

    1. Seriously? The only ones who are less ready to spend than Pappa Kranky are spuds.

  9. 400 million spent in the last 6 windows (3 years) money isnt the problem it’s what this management team do with it that is .
    Going by Artetas rein here I personally don’t hold out much hope for this coming summer transfer splurge.

    1. That’s a lot Mula and look where we are!😱

      That’s not a great return on such a hefty investment.

        1. I don’t actually think the Kroenke cares about building for a successful club on the field and all that’s required tbh. It’s more just an investment as part of a bigger portfolio.

          1. But, if they want a better return on their investment, it is paramount we get better results and get back into the Cl on a regular basis. So even if it happens to be true, they only care about the money, it still makes sense for them to invest in the team. And they do of course.

            1. I know what your saying and yes CL would benefit him. But we will only take part/make up the numbers..

              It’s the Arsenal way and has been (well at least when we were in it last;).

              There is taking part and then there is winning. When the head and owner of your club says they are not in the game to win stuff – then this should be noted and understood.

              He/the club will do the bare minimum to achieve mediocre success and keep the bank tills rolling.

  10. Marcus Rashford – I would take him over DCL in a heartbeat. Neves/Bissouma – I would opt for a cheaper, younger and stronger alternative in Chiek Doucoure from FC Lens. For less than 15M, the player would inject steel into our midfield, allowing creative players like ESR and Odegaard more freedom in attack.

  11. If we somehow managed to get gnabry, I think he’d be our main cf. It sounds like that’s the position he wants to play, and I think he’d do it well. If we got him and kept Nketiah, I think that would be it for that role. (all very hypothetical)
    Ideally, if we were also getting a winger, it might be someone who could also play CF as a backup option, unless martinelli is seen as a viable player for that position.

  12. When you understand that’s its not the budget.. But Arteta and Edu and the way the kronke manages the club.. Then you’ll know the root of the problems at arsenal. The Kroenkes recruitment is the worst.. Kept Wenger when klopp was available (when he was at dortmund I saw him as the best to succeed arsene due to the football his team played) missed on others and hired emery.. Not backing up emery and recruiting the rookies Arteta and Edu then backing the rookie instead of backing the experienced manager. The problem with arsenal now is not the investment. It’s the management stemming from owner to the board to Edu to Arteta..

  13. No matter who we buy/loan/sell we need to do it more wisely than previous years.

    No offense but buying Pepe for 70 million, White for 50 million, BOTH Aubameyang and Lacazette, too name a few were not exactly shrewd transfers

  14. Although I take a differnt view on a numberof this writers play er comments, whlst liking many others, I MUCH liked his overall optimistic and far more realistic take on how our team is shaping up , esp when compared to ONE regular writer who writes nothing, save negativity, ever.
    I thought his view that right now we are shortof numbers of real quality for playing in the CL to be sensible and honest.

    I’d appreciate more articles, such as this one, that look for the positives we undoubtedly have and FAR FEWER of the incessantly negative pieces! Esp from that ONE writer whose agenda is depressingly anti MA AND WHOSE COMMENTS COULD HARDLY BE DISTINGUISHED, AT TIMES, FROM THOSE OF A TROLL!

  15. It wouldn’t matter how much budget was given arsenal are finished as a club that can challenge for prem league they will never get to that stage again glad I saw the wenger years and definitely know will never see anything like that again!

  16. What’s important is getting the right player, rather than focus on the budget.

    For example, get the striker or DM to fix our weak areas. Rather get 3 players for 150 million that solve our problems.

    Compare that to 6 players for 150 million; Lokogna and Tavares have not fixed our backup issues, White is arguably not much better than Saliba, if at all.

    The club needs to do better investing and selling players.

    Martinelli, Tomi, and Ramsdale have been revelations.

    Partey, White, Lokogna, Tavares, Cedric, Mari, Pepe have underperformed based on investment.

    There are no guarantees, but hardly takes a prophet to know Tavares and Lokogna would struggle and aren’t ready to be backups with the rigors of the PL.

    17 million on Lokogna plus what is needed this Summer to get a competent CM,. 50 million on White which was hardly a position needing immediate attention.

    Meanwhile no competent DM at the club going back a decade I would argue.

    No competent CM since Santi Carzola played in midfield.

    100 million on defense hasn’t improved statistically over a Leno, Bellerin, and Luiz back line.

    Our midfield is a junkyard and unproductive; until a proper CM and DM are brought in, our attack and defense will continue to struggle with consistency.

    1. Point being, will Tielmans solve the CM issue, or merely targeted because he’s 25-35 million?

      Get Maddison to solve the CM problem.

      Will Jesus solve the striker drought over the last 2 1/2 years, or is he a cheaper option than others?

      Rather see our budget spent on Bissouma at DM, Maddison at CM, and a competent striker than another Summer of 5 youth projects hoping they can have an impact.

    2. Last really excellent DM was probably flamini, in his one good season – that’s 15 years ago, when we were still largely playing 442. He took the place of gilberto, who was starting to get on a bit, and kept out lassana diarra. Incredible really, how light we’ve been in that position since then.

      You didn’t mention odegaard, who I think has been very decent, but not top drawer, and maybe something between a really good cm and a really good AM, but currently doesn’t quite do the job of either (actually think he might be better served playing CM in the future). I also think we bought him because it was easier to get done – he didn’t look anything special during his loan but thankfully has been able to show a bit more of his quality this season.

      Anyway, completely agree with your points. We don’t seem able to focus in on the players we really need too often. The way we went after white last summer really stuck with me, when no one was saying we needed to improve that area

    3. Speaking of DM,I find it hard to believe that so few of us think that we need a proper DM!as I said before, I’m sorry but Partey is not it.

  17. Yes, we do, no we don’t!. It’s never transparent. Sometimes, especially around season tickets renewal time we fans are told that the club is going to go all out to get the very best whatever it takes, only to be told a few weeks later that there needs to be belt tightening and we need to be smarter in how we spend on new players. I guess that’s one of the differences between Arsenal and a club like Manchester City. They simply go out and get their man without too much huffing and puffing, whereas with Arsenal it’s often a case of,” Much Adu About Nothing”. Yeh, yeh I know they have a lot of money but so did Arsenal last season. Was it wisely spent?

    1. Morning Joe
      I have never liked how we conducted our transfer business
      Not then or now but we are in a different league then City
      We have been shopping for different calibre of players.

      We can’t disclose how much we have to spend as most clubs would upped the price
      It’s going to be a long summer
      Only.until the window closes is the day we will actually know who’s in and who’s out

      1. Alan, In other words, lets wait and see what actually happens instead of constant, almost all wrong, daft rumours What a sensible attitude and realistic too. Well said!

  18. Agree with you on most things Alan but have never liked this ” we are in a different league” argument. It’s almost as though our higher ups are conditioning us to think small. The priority for those in charge at Arsenal should be to bring us up to that level. I just don’t think last summer’s recruiting achieved that. A number of decent players were added to the squad but where is our De Bruyne? Nor do I believe in the process. I do agree however that it’s still early days with this window and to be honest I won’t care until the first week of August who the new arrivals will be.

  19. I don’t know how many players we have at the moment but MA said that ideally he would like to work with a group of 25 players and no more. (3 GK 22 outfield).the 3 GK are already sorted.
    -Ramsdale,Turner,Heinz and according to reports Okwonko going out on loan.
    22 players.
    -White, Gabriel, Tierney,Tomi,Tavares,Cédric,Holding,Saliba?Trusty?
    -Xhaka, Elneny,TP,ESR,MØ, Lonkoga,
    -Martinelli, Nketiah,Saka, Pépé, Marquinhos.thrn we have all the players coming back from loans.what’s that says to me is that, even if we do not keep any of the players on loan bar Saliba and do not sell Pépé,we will be buying 3 more players!what about our youngsters being promoted the first team?
    I just hope that I am wrong about only 3 new players possibly 5 max if we sell/loan Saliba/Pépé/Trusty.

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