Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The £490m investment that could point to Arsenal's biggest summer transfer window ever

Aside from the Premier League title race, the biggest topic surrounding Arsenal right now is their plans for the summer transfer window.

From Moises Caicedo to Marc Guehi and Moussa Diaby, many players have been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium whilst football.london understands Declan Rice is a priority target as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his midfield options ahead of a brand new season.

However, amid talk of West Ham United demanding around £120m to part company with their prized asset this summer coupled with the Gunners’ need to strengthen in other areas if they’re to challenge Manchester City once again, it raises the question of how much funds will be at the Spaniard’s disposal.

Of course, there have been reports of the Arsenal manager being handed a budget of £150m. This figure keeps in line with a familiar trend with regard to summer transfer windows ever since owner Stan Kroenke became the club’s sole shareholder back in September 2018. But there are encouraging signs that point towards the aforementioned figure being a lot greater.

In almost five years and nine full transfer windows under the sole ownership of KSE (Kroenke Sports and Entertainment), Arsenal, excluding loans for Dani Ceballos, Denis Suarez, Matt Ryan, Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari and Martin Odegaard, have completed as many as 26 deals for incoming players.

And the money spent on 20 of those players makes for interesting reading. In the summer of 2019, there was an outlay of £138million, with Nicolas Pepe arriving for a club-record fee of £72million in addition to deals for Kieran Tierney (£25m), William Saliba (£27m), David Luiz (£8m) and Gabriel Martinelli (£6m).

Then the following summer saw Gabriel Magalhaes arrive from Lille in a £27m deal, Pablo Mari signed permanently for £6.8m following his loan spell, and Runar Alex Runarsson complete a £1m transfer from Dijon whilst Kroenke stepped in to helpfund Thomas Partey’s £45m move from Atletico Madridfor an overall outlay of £79.8m

Interestingly, the summer of 2020 is the only completed transfer window in the last four years in which the Gunners haven’t spent at least £100m and that can be attributed to the impact of Covid-19 and the effects of having to play games without any supporters in attendance.

But things got back to the ‘new normal’ in the summer of 2021 when factoring in the well-documented £150million splurge to sign Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Benjamin White, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and sealing a permanent deal for Odegaard following a successful loan spell.

Now, as a further £125m was invested in the first-team squad last summer to bring in Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko it means around £490m has been spent by Arsenal across the first four summer transfer windows under KSE’s ownership.

The fifth could be the biggest one yet especially when considering the overall totals from the 2019 and 2021 windows occurred where one season Gunners were playing Europa League football and then out of European competition completely for the other. Now back in the Champions League, there’s every chance the 2023 summer transfer window will set a new benchmark under the KSE ownership.

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