Analysis of the dangers of Arsenal overpaying for Mykhaylo Mudryk

Magical Mudryk! Should Arsenal meet Shakhtar’s demand? by Ajay Rangi

Mykhaylo Mudryk! Flavour of the Jan transfer window and a name every Arsenal fan is talking about. And Shakhtar is playing hard ball on the transfer money with Arsenal FC. We all know about this. But should we pay what they are asking?

Before that, let’s look at the most expensive signings in football history.

Player – Price in million euros  –  Club – Footballing Impact

Neymar – 222 – PSG – Average

Mbappe  – 180 – PSG – Excellent (it’s French league and hasn’t won Champions league)

Coutinho – 145 – Barcelona – Flop

Feliex  – 127 – At.Madrid – Flop

Griezmann – 120 – Barcelona – Flop

Grealish – 117 – Man.City – Below expectations

Lukaku – 115 – Chelsea – Flop

Dembele – 105 – Barcelona – Average

Pogba – 105 – Man Utd – Flop

Hazard – 100 – Real Madrid – Flop

Ronaldo – 100 – Juventus – Above Avg but not what’s expected from the name

Bale – 100 – Real Madrid – Success (on medals won, real fan will have different opinion)

If same clubs are asked to go back in history and decide on signing the same player for the same money, with the knowledge how that will work out, how many clubs will? Or how many fans will want to do it again? Mbappe and VVd yes, others? Hmmmm!

Signing a very expensive player is not a surety of success on the football pitch. In fact every transfer mentioned above will get poor financial return when club have to offload the player. Barring Mbappe & VVD every player’s market value was lower after 1 year of expensive transfer.

Look at the data of highest English Premier League transfers. Grealish, Lukaku (twice – Chelsea and United), Pogba, Antony, Maguire, Sancho, VVD, Fofana, Nunez, Havertz, Pepe, Arrizabalaga, KDB, Di Maria. Among these top 15 most expensive transfers in PL, only Kevin De Bruyne and VVD has been a great success on the field. Some others still have time to come good, like Antony, Fofana, Nunez etc. but they haven’t justified the price tag in the months we have seen them till now.  Among the players spent over a 1Year at new club haven’t been great on field to justify the price tag. That is, out of 15 being 10 not good enough and 2 outstanding.  That’s 20% success rate only!

Clearly, success on pitch is not linked to price tag of player. Rather chances are that expensive players won’t justify the expense done.

On this reason itself, chances of success for +80m Mudryk are not very high on football ground basis historical data.  Over 55-60m, its not sensible business.

My personal view is that fees upward of 60m vs between 40-50m, former is rarely a reflection of quality of player but rather good negotiations from selling clubs in combination with a long contract. And more expensive purchases impacts players emotions negatively in general.

Having established facts on expensive transfers, let’s look at needs that we have.  Our need is not Mudryk. Our needs are 3 practical issues.

  1. Plan B when plan A is not working. We need someone to come and impact the game when starting 11 is not giving result or players need rest.
  2. Need backup for injuries. With present injuries, we are relying on 3 players to play as front 3 in 433 formation.  With Europa league and FA cup, we need other players to contribute.
  3. Don’t allow present forward players to build comfort zone by giving competition.

We don’t have concern on goals or relativity presently in our starting 11. So we are not adding goals to starting 11 but trying to add goals and assist coming from bench, which we have lacked since Smith-Rowe became injured.

It’s irrelevant how we solve the issues we face. It can be Mudryk or it can be some one else.  As long as we solve the issues efficiently that we have in squad, I don’t care which player we bring in.

My personal opinion:

At 60m+ we are already acting desperate. We don’t want to set a precedent that we can be arm twisted like Man Utd in overpaying for players.  We should have a cut off price and all clubs should know (by examples we are) that Arsenal will always have a point beyond which they will walk away.

More importantly our squad need investments in multiple positions. I rather buy 2 players for 80-90m than 1 player and address 2 deficiencies in squad in this transfer window.

We are Arsenal and not Man Utd or Chelsea with money to throw around.

As fans we should encourage Arsenal FC management to have a balanced approach. I know we are in great position in the league but actions should be to improve the squad, bench and tactical options, and not be fixated about one player. For positions we need to improve. Sure there will be a preference on positions we need to improve first and later and similarly preferences of players 1 and 2 for these positions.

Though top of league, we are still nowhere close to completion of the project. Vinai, Edu and Arteta have dismantled the old squad, moved on the deadwood, brought in good ambitious youngsters, changed the culture, mindset and work ethics of players and started giving an identity to playing style.

Squad building is still pending and underway and will take two more summer windows. One thing is clear, Arsenal has come a long way under our new management and we are here to stay.

Perhaps we may not win the league this year, but we are here to stay as a very competitive side which other teams will fear to face. We will compete for titles in future, and more importantly Arsenal will be even more dangerous next year than this year as the project takes further shape.

And that’s irrespective of Mykhaylo Mudryk’s transfer saga outcome.

Ajay Rangi


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  1. We all love Him not because of his name but because of his passion for the club and what he promised to give the club. So pls he can signed at that amount

  2. Hell NO, would rather see that money maybe even added to in some cases, but spend on proven talent, such as Bellingham, Rice, Neves, Savic, Osimhen, Vlohovic .

  3. Agree. If the media reports are correct then Arsenal should stop pursuing him now and look elsewhere. I suppose they are already doing that but media keeps this topic alive.

  4. It’s a shame Mudryk is a great prospect and teaming up with Zinky and Arteta is a dream move.But Shakhtar are being too greedy,I,m afraid we should tell them that is our final offer and give them 48 hrs to decide or we walk away.

  5. Amazing articule. I totally agree. Mudryk would bê Martinelli ‘s bench. We have Smith Rose and Nelson. I`d rather bring a towering Striker for the last 10 minutes when we have to win a match like the last one. We need options and we can’t block the youngsters way to the first tem. I think Arteta is buying time in this Mudryk negotiation for Smith Rowe and Nelson to come back. I think the last one will sign a New deal, cause he is in the new No More Red advertise.

    1. Perfect.
      Exactly that.
      I’m just thinking of the player he would replace. Martinelli or Saka? These are our best players. Is he going to better than any of these two? Can’t assure. So we can’t pay such amount.
      Pepe still in my mind.

  6. We are creating lots of chances inside the 18, but we are taking 2-3 touches too many. We need a forward-facing sledgehammer of a shooter with great aim who can create chaos in the box. Goal shots and mop up of spill shots by our other players. So if Mudryk and other marked-up players proves too expensive, let’s look at taking players on loan from very physical leagues around Europe. We need to adopt a Sledgehammer approach to the January window in terms of players attributes. My one cent

  7. Spend the money regardless of what others are doing. Arteta has spent the money available to him fantastically well and deserves to be given the tools necessary to compete for the title. If we don’t sign a single player in January and we suffer injuries we could easily fall out the top 4 and then we are worse of financially had we signed mudryk. Get Felix on loan and buy mudryk before we face tottenham next Sunday!!!!!

    1. It’s loans from a holding company, lent at interest – basically Arsenal’s future revenues being spent now.

      There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

  8. Mudryk is worth whatever Arteta and Edu feels he’s worth. If Arteta feels signing Mudryk will give him the EPL then make the transfer happen. Most of y’all saying not to over pay will come here bashing Arteta if he doesn’t get his number one target and then goes on to loose the league. Zinc is good but was number 2 target behind Martinez, can you compare Zinc to Martinez? The gulf in class is as clear as daylight. For how long are we going to keep loosing out on our main targets cos of fee? Kroenke happens to be theoretically the richest man in sport over Glazzer and Boehly so let’s not act as if our owner doesn’t have money to spend, clearly he’s been spending lately.

    Personally I believe the real value of anything is not the price but how much you want/need that thing. If you feel its what you really want then middle finger the price and go get what you want. Money is an illusion, I don’t really care about prices. If I need it and can afford it then I’ll get it regardless of the price.

    If Arteta really wants Mudryk then by all means get him Mudryk.

    1. As much as I get your point, I’m sorry to say that your argument lacks perspective.
      Are you not aware that every transfer window has a specific budget which is never revealed to the media? Can’t you see that we really need another midfielder even more than we need Mudryk?
      The writer made a very strong point of saying that we’re not lacking goals, therefore, adding Mudryk is simply trying to add goals from the bench which we have in Smith Rowe already. If we spend almost the entirety of our budget on a single player who will not be in the starting eleven and we’re not able to strengthen more important areas, then what have we done?
      And don’t say that Kroenke should just spend money cos he’s a business man.
      Another issue with spending money like that is that other clubs will begin to see us as mugs, much as they view Man Utd. Did you ever believe that Man Utd would pay £80m for Antony? Even Ajax couldn’t believe it. But when they paid £80m for Maguire, what did they expect from others? Even Newcastle United have walked away from several deals over the prices. How much more Arsenal? And for the records, Zinchenko has made us not miss signing Martinez. We’re better than them this season and a big part of that is the fact that Zinchenko plays a very important tactical role in matches. Look at the league table and you will understand what I’m saying .
      Finally, prices usually have a psychological effect on player performances, although not all players.

      1. I get your point too but I still stand by what I wrote earlier. A lot of you think we need to spend in other areas such as midfield, but I don’t think we’ll do that. There’s a reason Arteta renewed Elneny to 1 year. It is quite obvious that Arteta sees Elneny as Partey’s deputy. If he’s going to buy someone in that Partey’s position it’s most definitely may be summer. What we lack most in this team is goal scorers off the bench. Defense is sorted out. In midfield we have Elneny as cover for Partey, Vieira for Odegaard, Smith Rowe is reportedly being groomed to play Xhaka’s position, we still have Lokonga, Zinchenko can play in midfield if the coach decides. I don’t know why people don’t get that though we are scoring our problem is actually in front. I also don’t understand why people can’t see that Arteta is comfortable with Elneny as cover for Partey. Before Jesus’ injury we were crying out for another forward.

        What I’m saying is that our most important need is a forward (preferably an all out striker not Mudryk). If that’s going to take up majority of the transfer budget then that’s fine by me. Yes we are scoring but what happens if one of Martinelli, Saka or Nketiah picks up injury or looses form? Don’t let our recent goal scoring record blind you to the fact that the forward line is a disaster waiting to happen.

        About other clubs inflating prices; I don’t think that’s a valid reason. Wether you walk away or not that won’t stop clubs from inflating prices whenever we come. We carry the stigma of being an English club so clubs will always inflate prices and I think we should just accept that that’s the new norm. Not our fault but it is what it is.
        Arteta knows we need a forward so let’s get him the forward he wants

        1. I also prefer an all out striker in the mould of Vlahovic. As far as I know, that would free up Jesus to play on the left, deputizing for Martinelli if need be. In that scenario, Mudryk will not be needed. So it’s a YES from me.
          And there’s a valid problem of clubs inflating prices. Remember how we gave Aubameyang away for free? Remember how we didn’t value Özil as a marketable asset whether or not anyone was coming for him? Remember how Arteta allowed Pepe’s value to diminish? Remember Ainsley Maitland Niles? What was the after effects of these? I’ll remind you:
          1. Fiorentina refused to pay a small pre-agreed fee for Torreira because they were trying to get him from us for free
          2. Real Betis did the same for Bellerin
          3. Fulham got Leno for peanuts
          I don’t want to go into all that but my point is that the way we deal on transfers will certainly have an effect on how other clubs will deal with us concerning their players. The effects are significant.
          Another annoying thing is the way Shakhtar chose to bump up his price – by coming shamelessly to the media and calling out Grealish and Antony. One is already a flop while the other is a vastly overpriced panic buy.
          I won’t feel bad if we got Mudryk tomorrow, but I will also understand if the management doesn’t get him because of his exaggerated pricetag

          1. A very good reply. MA has broken both the good and bad records and as you described, we devalue our players’ values and sold cheap. MA is lucky to get things right at this point of time. Else, he is gone. Man City may catch up with us after we meet Tottenham and Man U. We can’t afford to has mistake if we are going for EPL title.

      2. dgr8xt, You make many fine and realistic points. Well said! I think those of us who think logically on JA need to allow for the many who seem incapable of so doing, like the Gooner to whom your post replied, using such fine perspective.

        Some on here have NOT the breadth of vision to ever see perspective and simply write the first unthinking nonsense that pops into their heads.

        And, sadly, never bother think it through first!

  9. Again whatever arteta and Edu think is totally okay with me. I have criticized them before and looked like a fool later. I’m gonna sit this one out.

    1. Exactly….. This guys see things from the inside. Some people will kip repeating we need midfielder, we need this and that. I think d coach knows what he needs more than anyone else.

  10. If Mudryky is not workout go for another players like Mitoma from Brighton. Two or three players most join Arsenal team to achieve our goal.

  11. Interesting article – I have to agree with many of dgr’s points.
    We as fans are like kids in a sweetshop. We all demand whoever produces the best skills video. Mudryk has only started 27 games in the very poor quality Ukrainian league in his career and 7 CL games, so his highlights are cherry picked against low level opposition. A great prospect but not worth the fee demanded and he certainly shouldn’t be priced alongside more proven players such as Grealish and Antony.
    Shakhtar have always been a hardball club akin to Italian sides. They see Mudryk as their big payday and, perhaps understandably given Ukraine’s situation, want CASH NOW. We are being leveraged to pay more than twice his worth and take a huge risk.
    Flattering that he likes Arsenal but so do I – should we buy everyone who says nice things about us?
    Kroenke is not a benefactor he is a businessman with many interests. His fortune is not there simply to finance Arsenal so let’s cut him some slack.
    Chelsea are getting annoying – simply piggybanking on our scouting and gazumping us on every player we go in for as they don’t care about costs. The result is we either lose the player or we pay through the nose.
    Finally, big fees create big expectations that are rarely met, not least because of the pressure heaped on the player themself.
    I say no more bids. Be prepared to walk away and look elsewhere, or we will be seen as a soft touch by other clubs.
    Just remember Nicolas Pepe…

  12. The fear to spend money because pepe didn’t work out as planned is nonsense. Big clubs have to spend to compete. So go spend Arsenal!

    1. You don’t get my point, Emmanuel. I have no problem with us spending – for example Joao Felix, who is proven at the highest level, has a value closer to the asking price, and having aready gone for big money, is far less likely to be ovcerwhelmed by the whole thing. Your comment sums up my issue with some fans – you don’t care who it is and whether it’s a fair price. We are not a club to whom money is unimportant, but to you as long as they cost a lot they must be good!

  13. Yes i agree,but we wont something diffrent as is the game changer time to time same as transfer

  14. Dear Ajay Rangi,
    For all of this Mudryk hype going on around now, your article probably takes the cake.

    You talk about how the who’s who of players who went for big money became flops, and just 20% of them a considered success. You go on about how Arsenal could do with 2 world class players instead of getting just 1 Mudryk for the price. You even suggest the club requires at least 2 more summer transfer windows (!!??@#$) to be able to compete for the title properly.

    Let’s address them all shall we. Firstly, there is no way in fairyland or space infinity that Arsenal have gone for the player of Mudryk’s calibre to invest for the future. If you believe so, then you clearly have not watched any clips or matches that Mudryk has played in ever in your life. This guy is being brought in for one thing and one thing only, inspiration from the bench or the getgo right from the start of the match. We are going for the title if we sign Mudryk. The kid IMO is already world class. Big money spent does not equate risk factor for a player signed, a player signed for 10M is just as much of a risk as a player signed for 80M, the more pertinent question surely is whether the club can afford the player, not the fee itself. If Mudryk goes on to give 10G 10A for the 2nd half of Arsenal’s season, would you sign him for 120M? Rhetorical question.

    Secondly, you mentioned how you can get 2 players for the price of 1. I presumed CM is definitely a position we can all agree needs strengthening. Recently for example, we were linked with Declan Rice and Milinkovic Savic. Now do you think any of these two players would cost half of what Shaktar is demanding? No team right now will sell their star player/s for 50M or less, that is a guarantee. Unless you are talking about signing some unknown up and coming player, we can easily wait and do that in the summer. No, the purpose of this transfer window is not to maintain top 4 aspirations, it is undoubtedly to sign players that will challenge all the way for the title.

    2 more transfer windows you say? Arsenal’s playing style has looked totally different to just 6 months ago. The key? When you sign bona fide champion winning players, who been there and done that, mentality of the club instantly evolves. Arsenal just 6 months ago used to be a club that rests on its laurels, not giving a care whether we won or not. The life goes on anyway vibe that was very evident. Look at the way they threw 4th spot away. At one point, they were 5 points ahead with 3 games in hand in 4th spot! No way. No way. No way Arsenal will let that happen now. If transfers are to happen this Jan window, you can bet your bottom dollar it is about championship credentials.

    All that said, I am sick of the saga. Either sign him for the fee Shaktar demands, or move on. Either way, all I ask is that the Arsenal hierarchy do not regret come end of the season like last Jan’s window and say what if we had signed Vlahovic? Would that have gotten us top 4? He never wanted to come anyway so we were clutching straws. Where was the so called plan B? If players like Vlahovic are a dime a dozen, Mudryk would cost 30M and Shaktar would take the money and run

  15. Excellent article, full of realism but with one caveat only.

    The paragraph that began”Our need is NOT Mudryk. Our needs are three practical issues” and in which Ajay then listed those three realistic issues, IGNORED THE FACT that Mudryk, if he get him, will be instrumental in solving ALL three issues. Plainly not by himself, but that paragraph jarred in my logical thinking brain.

    But that apart, still a fine and enjoyable read!

  16. Good piece. It offers some data to support what many people feel – that expensive signings don’t seem to perform well.

    Whether it’s high salaries (they seem to get lazy and entitled) or high fees (they seem to feel pressure)… one way or another, few big money signing actually work out.

    My personal view is that we’re already bidding far too high for Mudryk and should let Chelsea put its money where its mouth is. If they back out, or Mudryk refuses (both are possible) then Shaktar will look like mugs and we might offer £30m in the summer – if Mudryk is still playing well, despite his inevitable spell of abject depression.

    1. And at £62m for a player from Ukraine… we’d be putting an awful lot of pressure on the guy.

      The only way this works is if his personal terms are so advantageous to Arsenal that the total cost of a 5 year contract is reasonable. We have no insight into that.

  17. Totally agree. Rather than spending so much, I’d rather Arsenal call back some loanees.

    Also, this season, I think the most crucial is someone who can match Partey.

  18. They are wasting our time yet we we need some one to be ready in time or Let Mudryk wait till next summer or Let him and agent talk to the club not to behave that way or else we buy thuram and one more player to support this current season.

  19. Ajay Rangi,
    I honestly agree with your analysis and a belief that my Arsenal will back off this deal and look for our plan B which am sure Edu has. Thanks so much Ajay
    Emeka Oguoma

  20. For me personally I think M.A should get Thuram ,J.Felix and Teilemans cos they are all world-class players to avoid pepe mistake

  21. There is a lesson which we could learn from Liverpool. When they were in a transition phase, they invested a large money on buying Allisson and VVD. Especially for VVD, no one was willing to pay that money to Southampton. Both transfers were the world record then for respective position. The transfers drastically changed the squad, made Liverpool from a very good team to an elite team challenging and winning trophies.
    Based on this, we should be asking whether Arsenal is sure of the target and knows that Mudryk can drastically improve the team? If yes, then pay the amount and get it. If no, then look for an alternative. Dragging the negotiation will not work. That is based on how we see him in the squad.
    So far, I think he is not a starter, and can’t be seen in the mold of VVD and Allisson transfers. But, at the same time such transfer is often a statement, which will push the squad and will have a positive effect on our title challenge. Also the market is hugely inflated. Considering all these conditions, should be buy him at more than 80M?
    My take- get him, if we are sure about him. Don’t make it another missed opportunities which Arsenal have made it habitual.

  22. Mohamed kudus is the perfect buy for arsenal if we can’t get Mudryk
    Kudus for £50m bargain

  23. It appears the chase for Mudryk, to paraphrase a line from Spaceballs, is reaching “ludicrous money!!

    It is nearly reaching Osiman proportions.

    Maybe we should turn our attentions to him, he is also very fast, and can certainly score goals?

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