Could Arsenal end up paying more players to leave this summer?

Since Mikel Arteta took over as manager of Arsenal and started his complete rebuilding programme, it seems to have become a recurring theme of Arsenal’s transfer dealings that they end up paying off a lot of players contracts if they can’t find a buyer, especially when other clubs can’t afford the massive wages that Arsenal were giving them.

The Mesut Ozil saga set the precedent, when he dug his heels in and constantly said “I will honour my contract”, so Arteta and Edu finally decided it was better to get him out of the club than pay him to sit at home and play video games. Since Ozil, there have been many many more departures that cost us money to let them go. As Edu explained: “If you imagine, ‘Oh, no problem: this season we’re going to expose the player a little bit more and then we sell them’ — no, be realistic. You don’t want to sell the player,” he said.

“Try to avoid one more year with the problem inside, in the dressing room, expensive, not performing. Clean, take it out. Even, I’m sorry, if you have to pay. To leave is better. Because that guy is sometimes also blocking someone.

“I know it hurts, I know it’s strange when I go to the board and say: ‘Sometimes it’s better to pay a player to leave, than maintain them.’ But I consider it an investment. Sometimes people say: ‘It’s expensive.’ I say: ‘No, it’s investment.’ But someone will pay if you sell? No, guys — if the player is above 26, 27 and not performing, big salary, no chance.”

So now we come to another summer, and we still have players on our books that are ‘surplus to requirements’ and need to leave, no matter what the cost. I discussed the Torreira problem earlier, but we also have Bellerin, Pepe, Leno, Runarsson, Mari, Maitland-Niles, to name a few. All players that are unlikely to play for the Gunners again.

Is it better to just pay them to leave like Edu says?

Darren N.


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  1. If Arsenal really need to cut the wage bill and can’t find some suitors for our fringe players, they could let Bellerin, Runarsson and Maitland-Niles leave, because Arsenal didn’t spend too much money to sign them

    As for Pepe, Arsenal had better offer him to other clubs at a discount price, if they don’t need him anymore, since they’ve spent 72 M to sign him

    1. The problem is that even if we keep offering these players at very discounted prices no one is willing to pay..
      Most want to pay for less than £10 million for most of our unwanted players.. We even sweeten the deals by offering our players on loan to these club but still they don’t want to pay up at the end of these loan moves..

      Did we overpay in transfers or Wages for these players? Why are we struggling to make even £10 million for each?

      It don’t make sense.

      1. I believe the buying powers of Italian and Spanish clubs have become worse. Arsenal must be unwilling to let their fringe players go to other EPL clubs for free

        There is still one month left, so we’d likely see some late outgoings

      2. The reason is that we basically show the world that these players are unwanted by our words and actions like never playing them even if we are 3-0 up…this automatically reduces their value drastically. Everyone knows when MA doesn’t want a player and thinks he can’t add any value, clear for all to see.

        Why should other clubs value our players if we don’t?

        1. Some fringe players at other clubs got very limited chances as well, such as Ndombele, Lo Celso, Bakayoko, Lingard, Lukaku, etc

        2. PJ-SA,valuing our players makes them a crucial part of our team therefore not for sale to those clubs that only admire them when we do that’s if they can even table a bid enough to tempt us to sell so this their only golden opportunity to get our players if they show genuine interest cos valuing them at price below 20M is enough to be called devaluation anything below that is daylight mugging.

  2. Paying some players to leave seem inevitable as we’ve got no suitors willing to pay what we ask despite being paltry,i’ll suggest we do away with those not settling well and start afresh as those willing to stay are’nt doing bad at all.

  3. We do have a problem with players signed on high salaries before the covid-19 changed the market conditions. They are difficult to get rid of without loosing money.
    But it is not just a money issue.
    If we have too many players, we will also have unhappy players, who can damage the atmosphere. Finally, too many players mean less time to develop each player, and our future success very much depend on developing the players, we have.

    1. We’ve been over paying players for a long time, long before Covid so let’s get rid of that excuse.

      Our club has become less appealing to top players over the last decade so we offer then crazy wages as the only way to get them to come to the Emirates, this is a simple reality.

      1. The point is, before covid-19 we could offload them without paying others to take them, because there were many more clubs below the top level, that could hire them.
        Now, there are only about a dozen clubs in the World, who can pay wages like we do, and they don’t want these players.
        Apart from that, we actually seem to attract players quite well in this window.

  4. It’s become a problem for us, teams know they just need to wait until later in the window and we will give them away for nothing. A a club we need to overcome this terrible selling mentality. I think Arteta and edu are trying to stop the rot. Hope we get new right winger this summer that can give sake a break. Come on you gooners

    1. But it’s not just happening to Arsenal.. A lot of big clubs are making massive losses on players.

      Juventus just terminated Ramsey’s contract.. They are struggling to get any money for Arthur Melo, he might end up here on loan..

      It’s being reported that Chelsea have unwanted players worth about £180 million that they are struggling to sell. They spent £97 million on him and they just loaned him out for a £10 million fee..

      Spuds are having the same problem. They have the like of Ndobele, Lo celso etc that they spent big on but are struggling to find any buyers. Ndobele has been loaned out..

      When it comes to United, Pogba, Lingard all went for free. And they still have many players that Ten Hag will have to shift each season.

      Madrid just terminated Gareth Bale’s contract etc..

      As wenger predicted, players will start trying to run their contracts down as it is more financially rewarding..

  5. The Pepe deal wasn’t all upfront it was based on certain clauses which apart from appearances he wouldnt have reached. We have probably so far had to stump up 35m for pepe as we would have had a clauses that included goal amount, assists amount, qualify for the champions league and possibly win in the Europa.

    Bellerin wants to leave before the end of his contract he pays to leave we should have to pay him to leave. Same with any other player for that matter. With Auba and Ozil it mate since cause they were costing us over 1m a month.

    This presidency has to stop if they want to leave they make the sacrifice or ask to terminate their contracts on our terms, simple

      1. GOONSTER, I would hope that by the word “honouring”, you mean in BOTH directions.

        The club agreeing to pay theplayer and, in return, that player, whoever he be, honourably giving his utmost effort in every game played.

        My long term beef with Ozil and Auba, but Ozil more than any other player who I have ever seen wear our shirt, is that he was DISHONOURING his contract, by refusing to give 100% effort and in virtually every game he DISHONOURED his contract and his profession.

        THAT is how I see the true meaning of the word “HONOUR”.

    1. It was also instalments every year we are legally required to pay a certain amount of money to pay off the £72 million

  6. PL clubs are the richest in the world and pay the highest transfer fees and highest salaries. Unless you sell to PSG or Real Madrid you will get virtually nothing selling to countries outside of England. Thats just how it is. 90% of Italian and Spanish clubs are broke. Arsenal should start buying low and paying low. We did not need to pay 45m for Jesus or 34m for Vieira. We could have got Origi free or just used Moller Balogun Marquinos Pepe and Biereth as strikers and used Azeez as a mid and keep Tavares. If Arteta is a top coach he will make all these players top class PL players. Our transfer budget should be capped at 30m per summer and our higest salary should be 25k p/w.

    1. Part of the reason for our slump in the last 10 games was our lack of experience [and mindset] when compared to the Spuds.
      Assuming our young players Saka, ESR, Marti G, etc improve by 20%[from last year], I think we are well placed to compete with our transfer additions.
      We need x2 more ( right winger & def midfielder) and we will be set.
      Cap budgets at 30m is unrealistic for a club of our size, stature and income.
      I am feeling positive for the New Season COYG!

    2. It is very obvious that you are very naive, about football with your idea and your principal we will be relegated faster than you think

  7. What Darrens piece does is to highlight the problem and an ongoing one at that , which we , together with other big clubs have .

    For decades, on one platform or another, I have been calling out the obscenity of the ludicrously unearned wages that ALL PREM players receive. What WE- and some others too, but us more than almost anyone else- are now reaping, is chickens coming home ro roost.

    In life, you reap what you sow , generally speaking, and the sheer long term stupidity of our club paying extremely moderate players ludicrously damaging wage contracts is patently harming our quest to get the so called deadwood out of our club
    Darren is correct in suggesting that we may have to actually pay some or even all of their wages in order to shift them.
    I am not one who wishes to spend too much time crying “woe is me” and so all we can do now is to STOP awarding average players huge wages .

    For context, IF I had MY way, no player on EARTH would ever receive more than ten thousand a week and even that is a ludicrous sum for a mere footballer, compared to surgeons, doctors, nurses, firefighters etc who all do FAR MORE IMPORTANT JOBS.
    Unless and until the whole crazy process of paying mere footballers such sums is reversed, then elite football is storing up more and more long term trouble. I have said this COUNTLESS dozens of times but no one listens.

    Until they do so, we are doomed to go on down this disastrous road. Not just Arsenal but ALL elite level football.
    I see it so VERY clearly, I surely cannot be entirely alone, though sometimes it feels as though I am. Sigh!

    1. Totally agree . Absurdly disproportionate wages .
      In other sports also, though at least (golf for example,) you are only paid according to how well you play( endorsements aside) Still obscene prize money though considering what they actually do.

    2. JON FOX,you have always been hitting the nail on the head,especially when it comes to players wages. i can only agree with you, and, hope, that one day, this will all change. this is the main reason that i am beginning to turn away from our wonderful game.nobody,absolutely no player, deserves such wages. my opinion is when SKY SPORTS began to show live football that changed the game forever. they make excuses that we, the sky customer, demand more and more games, but ,surely, the more games they show, then, thhe more profit for them. since when did sky,or,any other sports provider ever listen to their customers.

  8. This is what have made me give Edu / Arteta more Leeway.. They came in and demanded performances and no shenanigans..

    Any primadonna had to be shown the door no matter the cost.. I like this ruthlessness. Was getting tired of managers overindulging poor attitude players and letting them dictate.. Throw the rubbish out..

  9. I think Arteta and Edu vis the Arsenal Board should henceforth with, try as much as possible to strike a balente between new players length of contract deal terms and the weekly wages payable to them. So that the club will no longer have to be saddled for too long with the players who they’ve signed, but who can’t or can no longer perform optimally in games for the club at the top level on the regular basis. But despite their lapses continue to earn EPL top-six clubs and Champion League wages at the club.
    This is unacceptable. For, any player wages in the first team squad at Arsenal MUST as a standing rule in the team, match their wage earnings with regular top level game playing performance regularly for the team to justify the top level weekly wages he’s collecting at the club.

  10. I don’t think Arsenal will pay Bellerin or any other player to leave. We now hold the Trump cards to all the rebels. Their positions has already been filled and there is no place for them in the team. In the case of Bellerin, it is reported that he will forfeit his wages to sign for Betis, that means making an agreement with Arsenal to cancel his contract, but Arsenal will not have to pay him for the remainder of the contract period. Bellerin can then demand Betis to cover the wages by a signing on fee, which could be lower than what Arsenal would demand if they sold him. In this case Bellerin and Betis would appear to come out trumps. But in essence Arsenal would also benefit, because we don’t have to pay out for the remainder of the contract and we get another unwanted player off our books. Which means Bellerin would actually miss out, because if AFC would terminate his contract, we would have to pay him out and he could still demand a signing on fee. But he unfortunately is not in a favorable position in terms of negotiating his exit. Going to Betis would also mean he would lose out on those wages. The longer he holds out the more problems he has. Look at Paulo Dybala he had huge wage demands, but eventually has to settle for less because everyone was turning away. Bellerin is actually in a bad position, because he needs to find a team soon and they will not offer him what he’s earning now. Checkmate!!! The situations with Aubamayeng and Ozil was different because they were toxic. They had to go at any cost.

    1. You got it all wrong Dboy.Bellerin holds all the cards.if Arsenal terminate his contract, he’ll be paid in full and a free has already be confirmed that he is ready to take a huge pay cut to play for Betis,so without s fee to pay Betis will be able to pay him a decent wage.also why he ask for a signing on fee when he is desperate to play for his boyhood club? doesn’t make any sense.lastly,the last rumours are that Arsenal are actually going to terminate his contract , effectively paying him to leave.

  11. @jon fox,but doctors,lawyers,engrs,surgeons can’t generate the sums elite footballers can help their employers generate by doing what they do for example do we have thaosands of spectators sitting in an hospital watching a doctor treat a patient at the same time enjoying themselves the way do while watching footballers?Not to mention the millions of viewers around the world watching on TV,mobile phones,PC’s and laptops therefore generating lots of income with numerous endorsements yet to mention.The thing is you only get paid according to how much what you do help your employers generate (not talking of the underperformers holding the club at ransom).fact medical practitioners especially deserve more if not better but they earn based on what they generate and agreement with their employers,so as it stands footballers at elite level will always earn lots of money cos of what their job helps generate.

    1. I agree somewhat FK.

      However, I think there shouls be a cap for transfers and salaries for players.

      1. I do agree but keep in mind that means players come to your club for the club name, manager or other players.

        With our prestige lower in the last decade we’d be able to attract lesser players so becareful what you wish for

      2. Correct,basic salary not more than 200k/week any other things should be performance related since great performance lead to great achievements and eventually huge income where players get their well deserved fair share that might end up out weighing the basic salary ,that will be enough to keep them going non-stop except injuries and suspensions of course.

    2. Fk Totally diferent life values , you and I .



      1. I know and agree,i’m only trying to explain how a person kicking a ball around a field without any form of formal education whatsoever required earn way more than a person tasked to save lives after unending qualifications to become a certified expert…

        1. He is right. A lot of money goes to entertainers let alone how much they are idolized, for just having skill in kicking the ball around.

          From his list I can add the military and the police force. They are risking their lives for us to live peacefully, enjoying and having a productive lives. But who acknowledges that?

          A person will never forget the day he meet his idolized player, actor or musician but he does not know all who took bullets for him to enjoy that moment.

          1. Such is life,buddy.the only people who get to earn exactly what they deserve are business men,lawyers,bankers and software and app developers and to some extent engrs (civil and architects) the rest get overpaid or underpaid based on what they do.

        2. Fk I am relieved to see that on the PERTINENT point, you DO agree with me .

          I have always been of the life philosophy that courageous and caring people NEED to stand openly and consistently for the life values in which we believe and to denounce as false and harmful those values which are harmful to our common race of humans everywhere .

          There can of course and sadly too, be no doubt that paying certain talented people huge and obscene sums, while very many others live in penury, is grossly wrong and evil , BUT THAT IT HAPPENS. YUK!!

      2. Like it or not Jon, people like you and I are(partly) the reason these footballers are earning so much!!

        1. Siamois, I assume you mean that by being spectators and/ or fans, we help, even in a drop in the ocean way, to keep that farce of obscene wages going. Assuming you DO mean that, then of course I agree with you.

          BTW, Siamois, that is just ONE among very many reasons why I have long ,maintained that perfectly decent and caring people everywhere are hypocrites, often without realising it.
          I also say that hypocrisy, whilst certainly NOT a desirable state, is present in all of us and as such, is in actuality, a normal state of being . It is but ONE of the many imperfections that make humans interesting, natural and imperfect.

          I, for just one , would NOT even want to be perfect, even if I could,(as if!!) as it would put me apart from my fellow creatures and make life unbearable.

        2. @siamois,the thing is i’m football(arsenal especially) mad so the measures to be taken to stop this overpayment of footballers on our part is practically impossible as i’ll always tune in on whatever device to watch my team play or even teams i don’t support such as tomorrows community shield btw city and pool and our emirates cup game against sevilla which in turn generates funds for clubs.LOL

          1. That’s the thing @FK, clubs,TV companies..are all taking advantage of the love for our club and cash on it through subscriptions,new kits every season, tickets, merchandises…!!

  12. I was paid by both Barclays Bank and Halifax bank to leave their employment. I don’t understand why people who have no financial interest in Arsenal get so hung up about having to pay players to leave. It happens at every club and happens in most companies all over the world. Usually the longer you have worked for a company the bigger your pay off.

  13. If Edu sincerely believes that paying players to leave for free is really an investment, instead of a loss, then we are in big trouble. It probably explains why the only player sold under his tenure is Joe Willock for the measly 20M.

    After spending close to 400M, we are still short of a backup striker, a DM and at least another wide attacker. No more excuses for failure will be tolerated this season.

    Edu needs to accept that most of the non-performing players commanding high wages were in fact signed under his tenure as technical director. Willian, Auba, Pepe, Mari are four examples.

    On a positive note, I agree with Edu, wholeheartedly, that it’s time for this great club to start winning again. The league title or even the FA cup would be a good start this season.

  14. All the deadwood need to go this summer like: Chambers, AMN, Leno, Pepe(But needs to be replaced, maybe with gakpo to provide competition) Bellerin and Runarrson. We also need to learn how to sell these players for 15 million plus(apart from chambers and Runarrson) wth shrude selling we could get at least £70 million into the club for potential transfers.

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