So, at the weekend I heard the first whispers of Pepe being a waste of money. We can be a grumpy fan base and you wouldn’t have thought we had won the game given how some gooners were reacting. Yet if gooners are questioning our new signing after victory how will they react when we lose?
Last week I wrote an article about how a player shouldn’t be judged on how long it takes to score their first goal (not including his penalty) with the likes of Pires, Walcott, Henry, Bergkamp, etc all taking their time to settle. I guess this week I’m playing devil’s advocate and showing that money doesn’t guarantee anything.
I want to look at our top 10 record transfers and see what our success rate actually is..
I’m not including Saliba as he obviously hasn’t kicked a ball for us, while it would also be unfair to judge Tierney at this stage. As Mkhitaryan was involved in a swap deal I left him out of this as well, as I wanted to base my research on straight cash.
10th Welbeck – 18 million
While Man United fans were sad to lose ‘one of their own’, their then boss Louis Van Gal was quick to point out his conversion rate. We knew what we were getting, someone who’s finishing skills were not good enough, but who’s athletical ability was enough to hurt the opposition on the wing. His injury record meant he could never build up any momentum. and eventually made it hard for our owners to warrant offering him a contract extension.
Joint 10th – Jose Antonio Reyes – 18 million
Part of our Invincibles and seen as Spain’s next big thing. The talent was there but never seemed to adapt to England, in terms of its culture or the physical nature of our football. From day one, he was surrounded by stories of being homesick and wanting to return to him homeland. Stories he never really went out of his way to squash.
Joint 10th Perez- 18 million
So, Arsenal heard Everton were going to sign this striker for a reasonable price in today’s market so found a cheap option to fill a hole in our squad. In his few starts scored some quality goals but no matter what he did Arsene Wenger reverted back to the status quo. Given the Frenchmen was accused of giving some players too many chances, to write off Perez so soon suggests there was an attitude problem. It also doesn’t help that be became close friends with Sanchez at a time the South American was upsetting the dressing room.
9th Chambers – 18.21 million
Started well, with many gooners thinking he’s so good on the ball he could a do job as a DM. Loans to Middlesbrough and Fulham were designed for his development, but both ended in relegation although was player of the year at Craven Cottage. Still not obvious what Emery’s opinion is of the defender, currently playing him at right back despite a clean sheet at Newcastle when he started in the centre.
MISS (at moment)
8 Leno- 22.5 million
Seen in Germany as a hot prospect which makes 22 million in today’s market worth the gamble. He got better as his first season progressed, although I do feel some gooners got a bit carried away in their praise. One of the things he has to sort out his is insistence on building play from the back. Has the distribution skills that it seems modern day keepers must have but has to realise when it’s not working and simply play safe.
HIT (so far)
7- Torreira – 25.9 million
Due to his work ethic he became a massive fan favourite, being labelled the DM we been crying out for since the days of Gilberto Silva. Like most South American’s though, struggled during the winter months where in Italy he would have been having a Christmas break. His form never recovered. I thought he was being a bit cheeky flirting with a return to Serie A and taking 50 million to use to buy a defender or use towards Zaha wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Especially now he’s lost his spot to Guendouzi and is being played out of position. When was his last great game?
6- Mustafi – 36.9 million
Lot of money to spend on a player who years later can’t get into our squad. Started well not losing his first 20 odd fixtures. Then an injury seemed to affect his confidence. When he had the right partner next to him could play well but lacked the leadership skills to lead a back 4. Lacks consistency for this level. Could suddenly have a world class performance but the next week would be needlessly diving in. Current situation is that he’s fully aware he’s not wanted and only featuring in cup ties. It got to a point where he was being booed by his own fans in pre-season. He was made a scapegoat. He’s not good enough but he’s not the only one..
5- Sanchez – 38.25 million
Forget the obvious talent and work rate that was infectious, in that regard he led by example, off the pitch though was not the leader we needed him to be. As soon as it became clear title bids were failing, he would sulk, throw gloves to the ground and sometimes not even thank away fans. At a time our young squad had zero confidence and he wasn’t helping, some stories even ranging that there was a physical altercation in training .
We thought it be such a PR disaster to sell him we were prepared to turn down 60 million for the sake of having his services for one more year. The assumption was that he was sulking in his last months with us due to not wanting to be at the Emirates anymore, but his form at Old Trafford shows losing him wasn’t end of the world. He could have been so much more..
4- Xhaka – 40 million
The latest scapegoat with some ‘fans’ now abusing him outside of the stadium and on social media to force him out of the club. Yet two top managers have now consistently picked him, with Emery making him his captain. That suggests he might offer something tactical that fans don’t see. He has a good range of passing althoughhe slows our attacks down, not helped when he partners two DM’s? His yellow card record is poor. It’s hard to say he justifies 40 million
3 Ozil- 42.3 million
When fans were stood outside the Emirates in 2013 excited that we got Ozil, who would have thought years later some be happy he’s not in our squad. That in itself might make him a failure, but to me it says more about Emery not liking flair/creativity rather than the player himself. The World Cup winner was brought for his ability to make goals, he’s assisted more than anyone else since arriving in England. It is not his fault that others don’t do their jobs better. Like he pointed out we won 13 FA CUPS in our whole history, he contributed to 3 of them.
2 Lacazette – 47 million
Whisper it quietly but I prefer him to Auba in terms of his work rate. Closest since Sanchez in terms of striker having work ethic to come win the ball and make things happens. Has made a bromance with his strike partner while supporting many of our youngsters.
Should be our captain in my opinion. He gets niggling injuries, without could be contender for top scorer
1 Aubameyang- 57 million
Quite simply a goal scorer. Can be quiet for 70 minutes then suddenly find the net with a rare touch. Only wish we had bought him years earlier.