Why Can’t We Sell Players for Big Sums?
Tiemoue Bakayoko, a big-time Chelsea flop, is, according to Talksport, about to go for 30 million pounds. Chelsea picked him out of Monaco in 2018 for the sum of 35 million pounds.
Alvaro “He needs constant encouragement” Morata was sold off to Atletico Madrid for almost the same price as he was bought for.
Arsenal will be hoping to reach just about as much from selling Spanish international and vice-captain, Hector Bellerin and French international Alexandre Lacazette.
Despite having sold many top players in the past, Marc Overmars at 40 million euros to Barcelona is our record sale, with only Iwobi and the OX coming close in recent years. Here are the transfer records for the Top 6.
Liverpool, Phillipe Coutinho, 145 million euros.
Manchester City, Leroy Sane, 45 million euros.
Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, 94 million euros.
Tottenham, Gareth Bale, 101 million euros.
Chelsea, Eden Hazard, 115 million euros.
It is this dearth of very good transfer deals that informs fans questioning of how we conduct ourselves in the transfer window. What’s wrong with our management?
Let it be said that some of our best dealings in recent history has come under this current management. Iwobi and Chamberlain were sold for over 60-70 million euros between. But why are we struggling to sell assets? Why can’t we make a profit on Torreira? Recoup what we paid for Lacazette? Sell Bellerin for as much as Chilwell to one of the richest football clubs?
This is largely explained by the fact that we don’t sell talents who are in peak performance. Szcesny was sold after a spat with Wenger. He hadn’t realized his potential yet. Ismael Bennacer was sold young and had a buy-back clause we didn’t exercise. So goes for Jeff-Reine Adelaide and Serge Gnabry. Alexis Sanchez was in the last year of his contract. Mkhitaryan was past his best and on huge wages. Koscielny was old and forced his way out of the club. Torreira has been a bit average during his time at Arsenal and is now considered disposable by the club. Hector Bellerin is coming off a lengthy injury. Sead Kolasinac is on huge wages. Mustafi has underwhelmed and is injured. Rob Holding has not had a good run in the team, being interrupted by injuries. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is on the cusp of establishing himself as a first-team regular but isn’t there yet.
Basically, we have been selling players who are too old, too young, on big wages and on the last year of their contracts. Any of these would depress the price of a player whom other teams are not so desperate for. Were someone like Mkhitaryan or Kolasinac on smaller wages, we would likely be getting a nice fee for them both.
But Eden Hazard, you say. Well, Eden Hazard has performed to the extent that enough top teams are desperate for him to play for them. The closest thing we have to that is Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and were he to be sold now, would bring in over 50 million euros.
Generally, too, a team’s collective performance will affect the prices of even their most fringe players. This is why Liverpool or Manchester City will be hoping to get sizable sums for the likes of Xerdan Shaqiri and an injured Leroy Sane on the last year of his contract. Arsenal have been accumulating players on Champions League wages but performing on an Europa League level. Alexandre Lacazette for example is earning more than a hundred and fifty thousand euros a week but hasn’t broken the 15-goal barrier in the league. This makes it quite difficult to sell.
But times are changing. The sales of Chamberlain and Iwobi demonstrate that. The likes of Bellerin and Lucas Torreira are being linked for reasonable amounts. Even Lacazette looks to be going for around 35 million euros. 20 million for Martinez is just about fine, considering he could have gone for a quarter of that in January. The team’s performance is improving and that can only be good news for outgoing sales.
In Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, and maybe Aouar if he signs, Arsenal have quite a few players who fit the profile of a super sale in the coming years. Sometimes, to improve the overall quality of the squad, you’ll need a big and profitable sale. Arsenal have not yet had that. Perhaps that will change under Arteta.