Arsenal’s Europa League failure last season may be hurting their ability to buy, but comparatively little has been made on their inability to sell.
David Ospina’s £3.15m transfer to Napoli represents the only departure from The Emirates this summer involving a cash sum – having let go the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck on frees.
And a potential underlying cause may go some way to suggesting why The Gunners seem to be having difficulty in offloading players – with sales sure to boost their transfer budget which at present, is thought to stand at £40m.
The Gunners’ wage bill could be the reason for the woes in the Arsenal sales department.
While the releases of Ramsey and Welbeck alone will have freed up some £245k in weekly wages (according to Spotrac), selling players on similar pay packets to other clubs unwilling to match The Gunners’ generous finance scheme could be having a damaging knock-on effect on the team’s ability to buy.
Whereas Arsenal’s transfer budget hardly supplies the resources to win the Premier League these days (based on how Manchester City have gone about their business recently), bolstering funds through sales would be a sure-fire way to try and compete with their top-four rivals – but a poor wage structure could be inhibiting their recruitment process.
That Mesut Ozil is earning almost twice as much as anyone else should be a warning sign to the powers that be, regardless of whether you think his performances of late have been up to scratch.
What happens when Ozil is inevitably overtaken in the Arsenal squad? Would they not warrant a wage on his level – if not higher? Considering Arsenal spend over £18m a year paying the World Cup winner, it’s barely a surprise there’s hardly any money left for transfers.
When looking at their payroll, there’s a lot of questions that need answering. The problem is that too many players are on a wage that doesn’t befit either their role at the club or the level of contribution – be that in terms of goals and assists, or merely appearances in the first place.
Take Mohamed Elneny, for example. A remarkably unremarkable player, he is thought to earn £55k a week and played just 17 times last year – that’s nearly £170k per appearance. It’s no wonder The Times report that he couldn’t be flogged to Fulham because of his high wages.
As a result, players in a similar position may find the quickest way to seal an Arsenal exit without taking a pay-cut will be to see out their deal – which will in turn, see The Gunners miss out on a transfer fee.
That may be the price they have to pay for a dysfunctional wage structure – but it will harm their financial prospects for as long as it exists.