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Where are my 10m, 20m, 30m players? Spend some F*%^@#g Money?

I’ve lately noticed a notion among some people that none of our players are good enough, even to the point of suggesting that the only reason they won’t leave is because they aren’t good enough for other teams to buy them from us. So I decided to put myself in the shoes of other clubs and think about a few things from their point of view. I’m going to look at some of our core players on the team and see what they would seem like to someone on the outside looking in.

Club A — “We need a young shotstopper who has the potential to be world class to act as successor to our current aging incumbent.”
“He must command his area well and have a sense of confidence that should permeate to those in front of him.”
“He should also have experience playing for a big club at the biggest stage in Europe.”
“How much would such a keeper cost us”

Szczesny, who fits the above description to a T, would cost any club at least around 15 million pounds.

Club B — “We need a centerback who is just coming into his prime.”
“He needs to be tenacious in the tackle, read the game well enough to make key interceptions and have the pace to keep up with quicker forwards.”
“Should also be decent in the air and an eye for a key goal in the other box would be a bonus.”
“How much would such a centerback cost us considering this level of quality and combination of skills isn’t easy to find”

Thiago Silva joined PSG for 42 million Euros last year, so Laurent Koscielny, even if not considered at the same level, would cost about 25 million.

Club C — “We need a young fullback who has an engine that allows him to keep running up and down the flank tirelessly.”
“He needs to have an eye for the tackle and be able to mark tricky wingers while also keeping up with them on pace.”
“Should also link up well with the man in front of him and be able to put in a quality cross every now and then and assist in the attacking process.”
“Considering how hard it is these days to get a quality left back, how much would such a player cost?”

Kieran Gibbs, would cost you about 15-20 million pounds having just signed a long term contract.

Club D — “We need a young midfield general whom you can build the team around.”
“He needs to have a combination of Spanish flair/technique and English fight/grit”
“In time he should be able to pick out a pass, lead the team and make players better in future”

Jack Wilshere, the future of Arsenal, would cost anyone about 40-50 million easily.

Club E — “We need a tireless fighter in midfield who will do everything he’s asked to do with aplomb”
“Should be able to do it all, tackle, pass, mark, intercept, and make effective late runs into the box”
“Must be the ultimate professional and never stop trying to impact the game no matter where he plays”

Aaron Ramsey, I would argue, would cost another club about 15-20 million to pry away from us.

Club F — “We need a forward/winger hybrid with electric pace that will trouble anyone in the world”
“Should be young and progressing rapidly with an eye for goal, reasonable control and a calm, composed finish”
“Should also be able to take set pieces and have the understanding to create for others when needed too”

Theo Walcott, would cost any team at least around 30 million to buy.

Club G — “We need a versatile playmaker who could play through the middle or out wide and be an endless source of creativity”
“He should also be able to score the occasional goal and have good shooting ability from outside the box”
“Being able to take set pieces would be another bonus and the ability to take a man on and beat him would be ideal”

Santi Cazorla, a man we bought (or robbed) from Malaga for a mere 12 million, would cost anyone around 25 million to buy in fairer circumstances.

These are but a few examples of what we have as part of our core and there are several more I could list. The point is that some people complain about our wages being paid to youngsters, they complain about trusting youth and relatively unknown players so much, but with this kind of quality that we’ve discovered and developed (or in the case of Santi, stolen), maybe we do spend some money after all and maybe there is some truth to the saying “we don’t buy superstars, we make them” after all. I think we have a LOT more quality at this club than what we normally tend to appreciate at acknowledge and when you FAIRLY think about what it would cost a club to purchase these players from us, or what you’d take in order to be willing to part with some players, maybe we’d appreciate them more than we already do. That is one of the reasons why I wrote this, to show that the idea that we don’t have any good players is well off the mark.

The other reason why I wrote this piece is this — You read every day on twitter, on FB, on blogs and even in the media about how we need to spend on proven superstars to find success as a club and I disagree. I think our success will come from signing the right players for our system who can be nurtured into superstars. Now to be clear, I am not saying it wouldn’t be nice to get one or that I would say no if we were to buy a big name, I am however saying that it doesn’t depend solely on that or the price tag. We could get someone for next to nothing and turn him into a superstar (Kolo Toure for example).

I’d like to wrap this post up by saying a few things about the transfer window. For one, I have full confidence in the club and Arsene to sign the right players (and these need not be the fantasy names that we can all think up) and I would gladly give them the time to do their business this summer (the first summer in years that we have money and that will have squad continuity). Secondly, it has been a little over 10 days since the season ended, and there are still 3 months to go in the transfer window. I believe panicking at this point of time that we won’t get anyone and starting to get angry at the club for not buying yet, is borderline ridiculous. I understand people are concerned about how we will buy but I wonder when people will realize that they have zero control over this and no amount of agitating on their part is going to make a transfer happen for the player they want in the time frame they specify. The only thing this panic and anger achieves is to make things far more stressful for yourself and makes the summer, which is tough enough as it is without our beloved Arsenal playing every week, far more torturous for others. So what I’m saying is, be patient and hold off on your panic and anger at least until the start of the season. I know it isn’t easy, but please try.

PS. This blog was inspired by a little exercise that @GeezyPeas conducted yesterday on twitter on the value of Ramsey. So credit goes to him for sparking off the idea.

PPS. This is to share one of the best blogs I’ve read in a while by @PoznanInMyPants — Part One and Part Two

37 comments on “Where are my 10m, 20m, 30m players? Spend some F*%^@#g Money?

  1. Not sure about Jacks value.That would be for a top player.Not a top potential with a recent history of injury.

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  2. Arsenal fans are notoriously fickle and the view of players has over the last few years become more diverse. Players were in the past allowed time to settle either when they first joined or after an injury. In today’s game it is all about the here and now the media has always put pressure on players, we all remember the papers view on Dennis Bergkamp before the Southampton match. Now that pressure comes from the fans as well, more often than not the players we have (as pointed out in the excellent piece above) are seen as poor in comparison with others around the footballing world.

    To many a quick fix is needed now and players like Ramsey are not given time to adapt and grow into the team, listening to many (not all Rich if you are reading this) around me at a home games Ramsey no matter what he does is picked up one the one or two poor balls he plays. Where as other players are allowed that mistake and have the full support of the crowd. What this article shows is that the nucleus of a strong team is there, can Wenger now pick the right players to get this team challenging.

    It depends on who and in what position you think Wenger thinks needs strengthening, for me it would be a 4th cb, a rb (depending on what happens to Sagna), a holding midfielder and an out and out goal scorer. I think it is more the strength in depth that needs to be addressed more than the actual starting eleven and subs bench.

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  3. Not only am I confident that Arsene will sign the right players Adi, I am also confident that he wont sign the wrong players, the overpriced show ponies whose agents are pimping their boys on every street corner and every lamp post between Merseyside and Monte Carlo

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  4. george, didnt you read two season ago of a rumoured 80m bid from city for jack? if madrid was ready to spend 150m on neymar who jack outshine the last time they played against each other. i think he is worth that.

    anyway i said it here once that our players are just a trophy away from being world class. lewandowski was bought for 5m just two seasons ago. now monaco would pay 70m for him.

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  5. i believe we still need one more central defender. preferably one that can be compatible with vermaelen. a striker, a defensive midfielder if coq is loaned out and fabregas. we must not let manure have him IF barca wants to sell him.
    we must first keep all our important players including sagna and gervinho. vermaelen as well.

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  6. where is my post???

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  7. i still think we need one more central defender. preferably someone that can be compatible with vermaelen. a striker, a defensive mid and fabregas. fabregas IF barca want to sell him. we must not allow manure to take him.
    first, we must keep all our important players including sagna and gervinho. vermaelen as well.

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  8. Excellent piece Adi. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Worse if the neighbor is always showing off his young trophy wife but keeping secret the high cost of alimony to the exes and the high maintenance required by the incumbent.

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  9. Highly enjoyable piece

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  10. I think Ramsey is under valued, but agree with the meaning of the article.

    I have stated many times that a company, business or sports club who cannot train their own staff has no real future. Arsenal always improves their playing staff from the time of arrival to the time they leave, What I would like to see is more players who have been at the club since the age of tadpole make it to the first team, but I’m also aware of how hard it must be for players to break into the Arsenal first team straight from youth football.

    No matter which way you look at it or how much or little has been invested to acquire a player to our club they must be quality to be on Arsene’s radar in the first place.

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  11. Excellent piece and I agree with comments so far, firstly hold on to the players we have and add maybe two others if DJ is going and ignassi is not to be promoted this year, although I think he is close, then a CB, a striker and a left winger and that’s it. If serge and eilsfield are to be added to squad on a more regular basis then we may only need to buy one player.

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  12. Great piece Adi. I think shotta is spot on – too many fans spend their time looking over the fence at what their neighbours have instead of taking the time to appreciate what they have at home. We now have a very strong core of players, and a great balance between youth and experience all over the pitch. There isn’t any position where you can say we come up short on either quality or experience. Keep this squad together and add two or three signings like those made the season just gone – Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud, Monreal – and we are a title winning team.

    The thing is, we’ve had squads in the last few years with just as much talent, if not more so, as the squad we have today. The difference I see now is a strong team ethic and desire that we haven’t had since the 07/08 side, and a squad which is much less prone to injuries.

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  13. @Swales1968

    I don’t really trust transfermarkt valuations that much ever since i started finding some errors in stats and figures on their site, its a decent reference but i wouldn’t rely on it

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  14. I agree with all the comments that pointed it out…that was part of the goal of this post…ppl spend so much time worrying about who to buy and at what price that they ignore the value of what we already have…just wanted to highlight the quality we have (that we obtained without paying anywhere near as much as they’re worth now)

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  15. I worry that I don’t know who we should buy !

    Does anyone have a number I can call ?

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  16. Familiarity breeds contempt. Why is it so hard to appreciate what we have instead of spending so much time and energy pining for what some think we don’t? Thanks, Adi, for pointing it out so well, although you may be a bit preaching to the choir. (smiley) We’ll get additions, and I’ll be happy about them when the club tells me who they are. Not before.

    @anicoll5 you are so right. Not signing the wrong players is key, and I trust Arsene on that.

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  17. Great article, familiarity breeds contempt as far as our squad and manager go. (I now see alabamagooner wrote exactly the same phrase!) I also wonder if fans who don’t value who we have or who want us to spend £30 million “as a statement” are the sort of people who need external validation for themselves.
    And I hate the way people talk about a hypothetical top player as a “£30 million player”. The price means nothing.
    “There isn’t a player who is worth £30 million.” Who said that? Slur Alex.

    @ anicoll5
    “I am also confident that he wont sign the wrong players,”
    Yes indeed, thank goodness.

    @ Adam May 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm
    “..a company, business or sports club who cannot train their own staff has no real future.”
    A very good point

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  18. Arsenal ladies were 2-0 up v Bristol Academy at half time.

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  19. Interestingly, a lot of websites do rely on transfermarkt data, even though it is patchy at best, since it doesn’t really stem from any “real” sources. In fact, all those values are crowd sources, with users opining in the forums if a certain players valuation should go up and down. So, in the end, a whole load of internet experts and a bunch of made up numbers. I checked their thread on Koscielny (who I felt is criminally underrated value-wise, especially compared to other CBs in the EPL and even compared to players in our team) and half of it was a Sp*d who by his own admission barely watched any Arsenal games this season arguing that Koscielny’s value shouldn’t rise because, well, this would’ve made him too close in valuation to Vertonghen who, at least in the opinion of that Tottenham fan, is one of the best 10 CBs in the world.

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  20. “I am also confident that he wont sign the wrong players”

    I missed this the first time and you’re absolutely correct. We need to maintain the spirit and togetherness of the squad; just one greedy, big-headed twatbag can spoil it.

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  21. LeoS @ 9:09 pm
    ” We need to maintain the spirit and togetherness of the squad; just one greedy, big-headed twatbag can spoil it.”
    – That is what I most fear about the proverbial 30 million player we must sign this summer. I trust Wenger to make the right decision.

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  22. as far as i am concerned, only very few people apart fron wenger trully know the actual value of any player. james rodriguez to monaco for 45m is an example. i must admitt that i dont even know the guy but i’m sure heis not worth half the amount.
    wenger once said if he buys a £50m player, he must score each time he touches the ball.

    as per the transfer market valuation, it is nonsence. eden hazard played almost same role as walcott but stats of walcott last season is far better than his. our players are trully underated and undervalued.

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  23. it is so refreshing that we dont hear anything like ‘going rate’ on here. by this period last year we were constantly being told that we need to pay the going rate. we still manage to get cazorla poldi and giroud anyway.
    at arsenal we dont pay the going rate but the arsenal rate. that is why i know we wont be buying rooney.

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  24. Outstanding piece, Adi
    Obviously the brains behind the PA operation. , Smiles at George.
    I’ve been saying similar things for a long time, we can win the league with the players we’ve got right now and I don’t want to see the apple cart becoming up ended to bring in s couple of wrong-uns just to appease the moaners.
    FFS nani!?, skrtel?! never in an arsenal shirt.
    Lets let Wenger and the club do what they do well this summer, buy well and buy sensibly.

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  25. I think barca still owe arsenal payments for fabrigas and song so the BS of Cescy going anywhere this summer ait for real.
    All Wmger has to do is phone UEFA and barca are out of the CL.
    Bales agent in Spain right now doing a bit of pimping – so want that transfer to happen.

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  26. Serious question. I keep seeing that comment about Barca still owing us money for Fabregas and Song. Is that common? Do they pay over time, or what? Is that made a condition of the deal? Truthfully, I’ve always been a little bit troubled by this idea of “buying” and “selling” people, anyway. This sounds kind of like taking out a mortgage on them.

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  27. @Aalabamagooner
    Yeah, it’s common to pay those fees in instalments. I guess even for a big club it’s not that easy to just part with 30 or 40 million in one go.

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  28. Good article. Our players suffer from the fact that we did not buy them for £30m +. It’s amazing how deluded people are to assume that high cost always = high quality. If they were playing for other teams there would be demands to splash the cash to bring them in. The fact they are here already seems to mean they are old hat and there are demands for the next best thing instead. Appreciating what we’ve got, while we’ve got it, would be a refreshing change. I also wish people would stop talking about ‘proven strikers’. The current model we have with 4 players scoring in double figures is better than depending on one player. The opposition just have to mark them out the game or they lose a bit of form and we’re scuppered. It’s better if goals are shared around and could come from anywhere. If anything we need more creativity and more accuracy from set pieces IMO.

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  29. FunGunner, great minds think alike, I guess. (smiley)

    Thanks, Evil. It just seemed I only ever hear that kind of statement made in reference to those two players, so I wondered if it was something specific about those deals. I mean, Man U don’t still owe us for RvP do they? Maybe it was the magnitude of the fees for Barca. But it still seems like if Manure could pay in full, then Barca should have been able to. You have to have a degree in finance to understand all this stuff. I’m a scientist, what the hell do I know about business deals anyway.

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  30. Great stuff Adi,like everyone else on here I think we’ve got a very good set of players already,some old heads,good eggs and some young players who will get seriously better,the trick is for Arsene to bring in players that as well as adding quality won’t be massive bellends who upset the work ethic or behave like egomaniacs,a tough gig in modern football but I think he’ll get it right this summer.

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  31. alabamagooner, usually a transfer fee is spread over the length of playing contract. so a £20miliion player purchased to a five year contract (that is set by rules as the longest, a playing contract can be) will cost the buying club £4million a year. Its called amortization. It also benefits the clubs once the player is out of the protected period of a contract as they become liable for any outstanding fee should they walk away from the contract.

    Hope this helps.

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  32. Thanks, Adam. That does indeed help.

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  33. @ LeoS
    “The thing is, we’ve had squads in the last few years with just as much talent, if not more so, as the squad we have today. The difference I see now is a strong team ethic and desire that we haven’t had since the 07/08 side, and a squad which is much less prone to injuries.”
    Indeed.
    Another change from previous seasons is that although we still have a young squad, the first-choice players are largely those in the 25 or over group and are winners. They are hardened, experienced and having come to Arsenal as adults, this is their dream move – so they appreciate how fortunate they are and are highly motivated to do well.

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  34. @ alabamagooner
    “Truthfully, I’ve always been a little bit troubled by this idea of “buying” and “selling” people, anyway.”

    Interesting you should say that. It’s actually transferring their registration and negotiating a playing contract – think of it like that. In the bad old days, footballers were virtually indentured servants, one step up from slaves. The club owned their registration and could sell them, prevent them from playing, sack them with impunity and all the while pay them tiny wages. Lots of armchair managers talk as if that were still the case (bar the tiny wages) and the player has no say at all over his fate.

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  35. @FunGunner
    I do really find the terminogy interesting. I mean, I realize we’re not actually “buying” people, but it’s funny to me that the term still hangs around. In the US, they seem to mostly use the term “trade” in this context, which somehow sounds better but really isn’t any different. And then the other day I was reading about and trying to understand this third-party ownership stuff…good lord. For other sports I follow, I always ignored all this trading/drafting/recruiting shit and just waited to see who turned up to play once the season started. But I’ve opened this Pandora’s Box with Arsenal , and now I can’t seem to close it!

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  36. It all stems from the late 1880s to the 1960s when we had the “retain and transfer” system in place which was referred to as the “slave contract”. a player was paid say £5 to play but the club could retain him after his one year contract on a lower wage, say £2.50 and stop him from signing with another club.

    Research Eastham Vs Newcastle United.

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