Opinion – When will Arsenal stop this “option to buy” nonsense?

We once joked that only when Arsenal finished outside the top 4 would our owners put their hands into their pockets.

Luckily for them, falling out of the Champions League has coincided with a TV contract worth billions. That’s why, even with us 10th, the criteria for our recruitment team this January remains finding value. And worse our fan base seems acceptance of this lack of ambition.

We clearly need to make our squad stronger yet only seem to be interested in loans (unless we find someone like Mari for a cut price). This is why a top name would not have been interested in replacing Emery.

Imagine Raul Sanllehi with a straight face trying to suggest we can close a 10-point gap in Chelsea with loan signings. Normally, with respect, there would be a reason why a club is willing to lend you a player. Name the last player we borrowed in January who made an impact?

Even worse, selling parties are even being flexible, willing to do business as long as there’s a guarantee to buy. This is the equivalent of calling our bluff. We act like we are interested, yet won’t commit to anything, yet still have the nerve to demand an option to buy and first refusal.

Many will pat our board on the back 12 months ago for not giving in to Barcelona’s demands over Suarez. If the Catalans got their way, we would have been forced to hand over 25 million for a talent who was mostly injured. Yet what chance did the winger ever really have of earning the move? He had 5 months to adapt to a new culture, learn a new language, all the while knowing deep down Emery didn’t rate him enough to commit to a permanent transfer. Did we ever have any intention of keeping him long term or was it about bringing in a body without paying anything?

Then we get to the Europa League Final and bemoan a lack of attacking options on our bench. The same is happening now with Ceballos. He has a big reputation in Spain but has clearly realised there is no desire to make him a full-time gunner. He was convenient because Real Madrid needed him off the wage bill, but once we insisted on an option not a guarantee to buy, we were telling him deep down what we really thought of him.

We now could be doing the same with Lemar, someone we were willing to pay 90 million for three years ago. Now Atletico Madrid are willing to make it happen and the only thing stopping us is wanting an option to buy. Again, you either rate the player or not. Would he make us better? Have any of our attacking midfielders done any better? Again, how much do you rate a player if you not willing to agree what is a fair deal?

If you wanted a car but didn’t have the money wouldn’t you be delighted if the seller let you have it now, pay later. If that’s an issue, maybe deep down you don’t want it as much as you think?

If we miss out on targets due to not agreeing on option to buy or guaranteed to buy, then I don’t know how anyone can still defend Silent Stan..

Dan Smith


  1. Thanks Dan for pointing Out the hypocrisy of out silent owner and pathetic board. how can we not get the cheap Mari deal over the line. How long are we gonna be penny pinching?

  2. Arsenal changed the terms from Outright purchase to loan with option to buy after an issue with his medical – Sky Sports 27/1/20.

    1. A shrewd decesion from the bosses IMO. No more Diaby, no more Wilshere nonsense. Even Kieran Tierney should have come on loan. He had a nasty fitness record and some people even pointed this out before he joined. Oh well, I hope he will stay fit next season.

        1. Hi Sue baby, yes am keeping good. Am busy trying again 🙄🙄🙄🙄😂😂😂😂😂. How is everyone. I still love you even though am using Pat to keep the cold away😂😂😂😂.

          1. Hopefully you’ll have some good news for us all soon then, Pat 😉😜
            You haven’t been on here much recently – I miss you ☹ – but then you have been busy 😉❤😘

    2. Spot on, finally someone well informed,the terms were changed on medical grounds and ceballos is the one wanting to go back to Spain with Valencia after him but real are against it,anyway I’d rather MA keeps working with the team we have and to wait for injured players to come back and do real business in the summer starting by trimming the squad,selling/loaning players and buying our primary targets, lastly I believe we can and will cut the 10 points gap with Chelsea!

  3. Oh boy, leave the business part of running the club to the professionals! Who said permanent transfers are the best? We signed Pepè on a permanent deal, who wishes we did a loan for him instead? Am sure you will find quite a few! In fact, I wish we had signed quite a few current Arsenal players on loan!

    Courtois went to Atletico on loan, didn’t it turn out great for them? Lukaku to Everton? Nathan Ake to Bournemouth? A. Gomes to Everton? Let’s stop this unnecessary overly critical view of the board dealings, nobody could have known D.Suarez would flop.

    1. There are two things when it comes to loan which are important. 1) the club do not have finencial muscle to buy the player so next best option loan the player 2) The club who are loaning the player do not have the player in their current plans so for playing time (value does not drop) or development or to take some weight off the salary list…what ever the case is, it’s mostly in favour of the club who want to loan the player out instead of the club who are taking the player on loan. Why I think we should not go with loan option is because of these reasons you spend time n money on developing player for other club, if the loan really works out the parent club can hike the price and last if they are not good enough for their club then why are they good enough for us. Have you ever seen clubs send good players on loan unless they are really young n can’t get playing time even then the ones who are really good are kept with first team n not sent on loan.

      1. Kevin De Bruyne, Mo Salah and even Tevez were all deemed not good enough and sent out on loan. I remember a time we were very bitter Liverpool nicked the Nuri Sahin loan from under us. Loan deals can be valuable tools for every club, we should not dismiss these options simply because of pride or negative assumptions.

    2. QD, that is the hypocrisy of our fans. A player we never heard of before who was unearthed by the same people they are criticizing now. Someone is even blaming Stan for this based on frivolous friction lies that we are cutting the price by a million. These same people will blame the board and owner if player flops after will sign him. ‘Damn you Stan for not given us a player when we need one. You have wet our appetite with Mari so we must get him irresponsible of what it is found during his medical’ Fans here always want something or someone to be negative about so we throw common sense into the bin. Never bothered to reason why the club change the deal. Everything other clubs do becomes a problem we will do the same. We paid installments, penny pinching. We loaned with option to buy, penny pinching, we acquired a player with transfer feel less than 10M, penny pinching….blah blah..

    3. Interesting thoughts QD, I assume that you think the same regarding all the signings we made, whether loans or permanent signing?
      Nobody knows how a player will turn out, that’s why we have a scouting system.

      Four years ago, gazidis informed the world that he was introducing a “new regime” that would take over the responsibilities of transfers, contracts and all other negotiations – the cry from the fanbase was “we’ve got our arsenal back” I seem to remember.

      The board has nothing to do with transfers etc it would seem, so I agree that they shouldn’t be criticised in any way on that score – the question is, what exactly do they do?

  4. You guys will call out the board and say all sorts of stuffs when the spend money to buy players that ends up becoming flops, you guys would react as if the board could’ve predicted the future.
    Still when the board would rather take a few on loan first to assess em before buying, you guys will still come online to type and say say crap about them. You guys can never be satisfied can you?

    Arsenal had an agreement to take on loan with option to buy, the player even said on camera that he was happy to be signing for Arsenal, if things weren’t almost completed, the player would’ve never said that… then Flamengo suddenly backtracked and wants the deal to be permanent instead and you guys really expected Arsenal to just roll over?
    If Arsenal ends up paying the 9million now and he flops, lots of hypocrites will still come on here and question why the board had to pay for an unknown player who plays in the Brazilian league.
    Arteta has officially stated, the transfer plans for the club ain’t changing, they’re bringing in one or two players. You guys should drop the whole double standard búllshit please

    1. Just so you are aware Eddie, this post is a guest post from a site user. So when you say you guys I am assuming you are referring to Arsenal fans generally.

      1. AdMartin chill your balls, I didn’t come for your head…At least not yet😂😂.
        I know this isn’t your article.
        I’m talking to the writer and the fans calling out the board

        1. It is a very long queue coming for my head, dominated by Ozil supporters but you are most welcome to join in. Thanks for the clarification.

          1. what clarification? That at least I aint coming for your head yet?
            Yea well it’s normal, if you keep being biased the way you do sometimes, I’ll be glad to come for your head… Ozil fans can have you for all I care😂😂…
            That’s not a queue I’m willing to join, if I do, I’ll probably die before I get the chance to come for you

            1. Clarification in terms of who “you guys” were. As for being biased, there are many queues for that as well. You see, the one thing that I can guarantee is that for every article you say is biased there are others that agree with me. Like I say, cannot please all the people all the time.

          2. Admin Martin,I really do feel your pain, trying to keep everyone or at least the most possible happy. Not sarcasm either, as I REALLY DO feel your pain. You and Pat are well aware that you have an impossible task trying to avoid criticism for what you do on here and so, although I personally give you more grief than almost anyone else on here, I raise a glass to your patience and fortitude.

            So does that make me a hypocrite then? OF COURSE IT DOES and so are we all, in our own various ways, though most will not face the fact that a degree of natural and normal hypocrisy is part of our common human nature. To deny that fact is to refuse to face the self truth that we all need to recognise.

          3. Here’s a suggestion for you Martin…why not submit the articles with no personal thoughts and then submit your posts under a pseudonym, venting your views as we all do?

            That would give an unbiased Administration, reporting the facts, rumours, topics and you being able to comment without anyone coming for your head?

            Doesn’t that make sense and I am convinced that was the way Pat used to work.

            1. That would set a precedent that no other Arsenal site or media site actually does, they have editorials, opinion pieces, columnists etc and I have no inclination to hide my views from anyone. You and everyone else are free to send in articles whenever you want, I have consistently said that and I will never veto an article just because I disagree with it. Do you really think I agree with all the articles done by other writers on this site? Of course, I do not. I just do not get upset because someone has a different point of view to me. You have grossly over-exaggerated the amount of Ozil articles I do and this can be easily verified via this site by anyone. You inflate the articles with your consistent defence and refusal to criticise Ozil in any manner in exactly the same way the defenders of Wenger did. Why my opinion on Ozil vexes you so much I do not know, you do not have to read those articles or comment on them, you have free will. My viewpoint on Arteta, Pepe, Ozil etc is clear and out there for everyone to attack but that is it Ken, they are just my views As for anyone coming for my head, I really do not care honestly, I do get irritated with false assumptions and lies as most people surely do but I do not get irritated because anyone would take a different point of view to me. I would choose either to ignore it or engage in it. I cannot see why you do not do the same my friend. Finally, the offer is there and will remain there, write a piece about Ozil, a positive piece and I will publish it as long as it stays on topic and does not meander off into an attack on this site.

          4. Well, , thats me shot down in flames the Martin – sorry and I will keep my place as a mere contributer in future!!!
            My sincere apologies to you.

            Just to get it right, I have always criticised his salary, recognised he is not the w/c player he once was and been frustrated with his feud regarding UE – but I have never been siily enough to give him a mark of 2, produce a damning article every other day, it seems and invent provocative headlines such as “the
            albatross around our neck….I will leave that for others who feel the need to do it.

            1. No, but you will use all manner of words to describe articles you do not like. Plus, again, you say Ozil articles every other day, that is false and can be verified so why you persist with that falsehood I do not know. As for provocative headlines I do that with a load of players, I have used words like liability etc in headlines, yet you only criticise the Ozil headlines. As for that 2 for Ozil, I think but may be mistaken that I did revised ratings the very next morning and upgraded his score, the first time I have ever done that so that accusation is misleading. Finally, I do note your sarcasm Ken, there was no intention on my part to shoot you down just merely to point out that almost every other site out there is full of opinion pieces. If I was pro Ozil I doubt very much you would ask me to write under a different name.

    2. @Eddie, I do not agree. If you have a good product no one will offer try then buy option. It’s only done in two circumstances one for promotion purpose of a new product or second if you are struggling finencially. In the later case even then loaning player out is the last option, the club will prefer to sell the player out right.

      1. Tell me something Moshan, Bayern Munich were struggling financially or needed promotion when they decided to take James Rodriguez?
        Like QD asked up there, Atletico Madrid were struggling financially or needed promotion when they took Courtois on loan?
        Not everything is as straightforward as guys try to point out regarding transfers…
        You Insinuate the club is struggling financially, yet it spent 72million on Pepe, will spend more money this summer to support Arteta.
        It’s Jan transfer doesn’t mean we have to waste and throw money at every players being offered to us.
        If Mari is as good as Brazilians claim, why the hell are Flamengo in haste to let him go easily and willing to do it ASAP?

    3. Eddie
      Can I ask you then
      Do you believe with our current position, our board are doing the best they could do to improve us ?
      That Mari is the best option?

      1. Dan,
        without being sarcastic in any way, why are you blaming the board?

        Going back to the days of gazidis, it was announced that a new regime had been set up to take contracts, transfers, signings etc away from Wenger and to be taken over by the “three wise men”.
        That was four years ago and I have heard nothing since then that has changed the situation – that doesn’t mean it’s still the same of course and it may of been the board who jumped in and took Ramseys reported mega money deal off the table?

        I am at a loss to know why kronkie actually needs a board now anyway, or what their purpose would be, except to rubber stamp all his decisions.

        1. I just assume they set the criteria?
          I know they are not in charge of transfers but they must be the ones who tell recruitment team what budget is , etc
          So if Stan wanted too , he could look at us in 10th and still do what is needed to help
          I’m not asking them to free up funds like City or Chelsea just do better then loan signings
          Essentially I blame them because we are failing
          If you slipped on the floor at Asdas and there was not wet floor sign , you sue the company not the person with the mop.

          1. Dan, thanks for the reply and I see where you are coming from.

            My take on that though, is that we have seen many photographs of raul etc with the kronkies and I can’t see them not knowing and agreeing the budgets….along with some input from Arteta.

            This is the problem Dan, since kronkie took the club over, there is no real or factual way of finding out and we, the fans, interprete situations in our own way.

            This latest farce over £1,000,000 and/or if something wasn’t quite right at the medical is media led, while the club remain silent and it always looks as if the club is at fault.

  5. Sounds like there is no confidence at board level to make a full on commitment? I mean, if you can try before you buy then Arsenal seem to bee very interested because the amount of “bad buys” we’ve had over the years makes this the best possible solution!

    The club has been run in such a amateur way that even player evaluations that make sense to us are simply way over priced to this Arsenal hierarchy to fathom!!

    Penny pinching as usual then?!

  6. My take is that, as ever, our club are tring to penny pinch. I agree with Eddie that a decent player is not going to be let go in JAN for what amounts to relative peanuts today but the club are trying to learn from past financial catastrophies by playing both ends against the middle. I caution that this begs getting the worst of both worlds. My personal bottom line is this: If Arteta wants him and rates him, then pay the £7.5 mill here and now but if Arteta is not keen, then don’t touch him with a barge pole. It boils down to this truth; that Arteta is the only one in the club whose judgement I trust. I suggest that many other Gooners will say the same. This head coach title is arrant nonsense of course and unless MA is acting as manager on incoming/outgoings too, then the club are betraying his obvious talents and by definition also betraying us fans. It should be HIS decision alone and a properly run club – pause for snort of derision here – would be doing exactly this. But then, as we all know, a properly run club would not be owned by an absent, silent, uninterested, corrupt creature like Kroenke. Reality!

  7. Yeah and Everton and Cherries then paid the going rate for them
    Courtois was a loan with Chelsea always insistent he was only a loan

    Arsenal don’t want to loan
    They want an option to buy without commiting
    Classic cake and eat it

  8. Some of you need to srep back from financial opinions, we/you dont understand how a football club is run from top to bottom. Loan to buy is becoming more and more popular as clubs become more and more strangled under their efforts to keep within ffp. That is not only small clubs but bigger one too.

    1. So true Reggie, as with players reported salaries and supposedly bleeding the club dry – as you say, only the owner knows what he can afford, we mere fans just speculate.
      By the way, looks as if you will win the debate regarding the club not signing anyone, my apologies will be coming your way if it stays as it currently is!!!

      Also true is Anders saying how much we misse the CL money – a blood transfusion every year that was never appreciated until it run dry…plus the fact that these young players that will be the lifeblood of our club going forward were spotted,, nursed and signed during those CL years.

      Oh to have those days back again, how was it all achieved under kronkie?

  9. Once again an article, where it seems the underlying accusation is the owner(s) are taking money out of the club. Money which should/could be spent on new players instead.
    I have no interest in defending Kroenke, but the fact is, there is no profit to take, end there haven’t been for a few years. Look at the financial records. We are not in such a good shape, because we have missed CL Football quite a few years and for many years we haven’t really been able to develop star players to sell and make money to reinvest.
    Fortunately, there are now signs in the current squad, that we could finally be developing players to become valuable assets.

    1. If you think a businessman like Kronke is running Arsenal as a business without profit then I don’t know what plant you are on. Look at our share value it’s still solid and if you actually study club’s finencial report we are making good amount of money, not as much as we would if we were in Chmapions league but still good amount of money.

      1. Of course he is running it as a business man. That is in fact part of my point. Looking at the financial situation, there is not much to buy players for. That is if you don’t expect Kroenke to put his own money in to cover possible losses.
        To get out the current situation, there are in my opinion 3 ways:

        1) We improve our results and get into CL, more or less with the current squad. The income is partly invested in improving the squad to get even better

        2) We develop our players much better so some can be sold off to make room for investing in new players in a clever way

        3) A “sugar daddy” owner comes in and pours money into the team (The Chelsea and City way)

        Personally, i would like to see 1) and 2) happening. That is how Liverpool has passed us in the last 5-6 years, and there is no reason, why something like that can’t be done. I am confident both the owners and the management are trying to make it happen. The interests are in fact aligned and not in opposition to what we as fans want.

  10. I’d let Auba go if the offer was between £80 and £100 million. I would then spend the money on reducing our debt pile and keep the squad we have. That way we are in better shape for the next few years rather than paying interest on interest. I would then like to see our owners provide an interest free loan in the summer for about 150 million in order to refresh the squad. This keeps us well in line with financial fair play and should provide a squad good enough to break back into the top four and challenge for honours. The extra revenue means we pay back the loan and generate extra cash for further investment

  11. Fecking united getting Bruno Fernandez gutted plus spuds getting bergwiwin ? Spelling arrr and finalise le celco
    Glad our fans haven’t started attacking player / manager homes dirty mancs

  12. Loans can be a road to nowhere. You can see it in Ceballos. Players don’t feel they belong. If buying Pablo Mari was 7 mill and now we loan for 4 mill that gives the impression we just want to use the guy. I dont like the feeble way we do business. It hints we are a cheaper lower club. What have we become if we cant even buy a cheap player for Arteta???? Goodby Matviyenko I really thought we would see your qualty. Maybe I’ll be surprised and we will buy both. But the Kroenkes won’t. They let everybody down in the end.

  13. It was ceballos/real madrid that had no intention of putting an option to buy in the loan deal. If i remember correctly arsenal and spurs both wanted a loan with option to buy but we got him because we accepted a loan without buy clause.

  14. Not that keen on Mari, 26 year old no top flight experience and playing in brazillian league and not fast.
    Matvieyenko on the other hand looks very good. Why cant we just get him!

  15. I have no problem with a loan with an option to buy. I have a bigger problem with signing players not up to the standard (whatever that might be nowadays).

    Our last two loan deals with players from Barca and Real didn’t exactly pay off too well. Happy we didn’t have to buy these players.

    A loan deal should be cheaper than a loan deal with an option to buy. Since normally you pay for options. I think we paid 2 million for Ceballos (is that correct?) without an option to buy and it was still too much (thus far – unless he scores the winning goal in the EL final then it would have been a steal.)

  16. Other teams in England were looking at him, if we had bought him then we could have came out of this, by making a little money if selling to one of those teams, if he’s not a great fit for us then I’m sure English sides could work with him because of his build and his aerial ability. Those SA teams though, they do have all sorts of people tied to contracts wanting to get a future slice of the pie.

    It’d be nice to have Saliba’s partner already here for the start of next season, it’d be a big piece of the jigsaw.

  17. It’s all about cheap this window. My guess is that Arteta wanted Matviyenko but was told he’s too expensive (too good)…..nice cheap loan instead boys. I remember thinking post ‘invincibles’ we are always going to be a couple of players short of another EPL winnning side. Arteta could do it, and maybe he will…..but he will need the level of player and that will cost.

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