Arsenal have gone into the summer transfer window in an aggressive fashion. Two confirmed signings in the form of Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos, with two more expected to arrive in Matt Turner and Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
Reports suggest Arsenal are pushing for priority targets Raphinha and Lisandro Martinez to help what many believe would be the completion of their business. There is interest in Youri Tielemans although a move for the Belgian has ‘cooled’ in the past week.
Arsenal may return for a central midfielder later in the window, but that would take the spending to record levels for the club after they broke the total outlay milestone last summer when Edu and Mikel Arteta brought in around £150m worth of talent.
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Questions about why Arsenal are spending this much and where the injection of funds is coming from have been rife across the broader footballing community. The latter is simple considering the amount of work done to reduce the club’s outgoing with a massive overhaul of the squad under Arteta.
The former though becomes clear when looking at the amount spent by Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham on their current squads. Arsenal have the comparatively cheapest group of players at the moment – although that will likely change swiftly once Jesus is confirmed.
Although a player’s price does not guarantee a fair reflection of their quality, it is no surprise that the three most successful teams of the past half-decade have the most expensive squads. Whilst Arsenal have the cheapest of the traditional big Premier League clubs right now, they were very close to overcoming the odds to finish fourth last season, finishing just one win away from toppling their north London rivals.
This failure to qualify has also likely had an impact on Arsenal’s transfer plans, although Arteta is determined to elevate this group back into the elite European competition and challenge for the biggest trophies. It was never going to be a quick, easy job. Neither would it be a cheap one as is being proven in the last three years.
What needed to be recognised was how far behind the top teams the club was and that it would take serious spending and consistent correct decision-making to succeed. It has not been a perfect process so far, but the signs keep improving.
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