Despite common belief, Arsenal don’t get all their players from their youth system, and even there, half of them are purchased from somewhere else. Arsene Wenger has an eye for talent, yes, but he needs to spend to get that young talent, with the current squad of Arsenal players assembled for £163.4 million.
Yes, it’s spread nicely over plenty of years and plenty of players, with no one costing more than £16.5 million, but there’s a misconception about Arsenal growing all their players. They spend plenty of time and money in the transfer market. They just buy cheaper players.
The Spanish international is Wenger’s best player so far this season, taking over the playmaking duties in the middle of the pitch. Cazorla cost Arsenal £16.5 million to bring over from Malaga.
Started out as big hit, but soon the hype and enthusiasm from both sides fizzled out. Arshavin came from Zenit in 2009, but last season spent half a season on loan back in Russia with his former club. He cost £15 million at the time, so far contributing 23 goals and 23 assists in 99 league matches.
Had one and a half good seasons with Montpellier in France, especially 2011-2012, leading Ligue 1 in scoring with 21 goals and helping the club to a league title. Still, early on at least, it seems the £12.8 million paid for the 25 year old striker were a bit too much.
The second time Wenger has coughed up big cash for a Southampton youngster, purchasing the winger for £12 million in 2011, before Chamberlain’s 18th birthday. So far, he hasn’t been used consistently, although he’s already an England international. He has scored twice for Arsenal in 19 league appearances, mostly off the bench.
The German international cost £10.9 million to bring over from FC Koln, and the forward has so far been one of Arsenal’s best players in the early goings, scoring two goals in their most recent couple of wins.
You won’t find many players who create so many chances like Gervinho, but you’ll find few who miss nearly all of them. A very talented Ivorian winger who still finds it hard to put in consistent performances for the Gunners, into his second season with the club after being purchased from Lille for £10.5 million in 2011. He has four goals and six assists in 26 league matches for the club so far.
Wenger’s most successful purchase during his panic attack phase last season after the terrible start. The veteran Spanish midfielder cost £10 million to bring over from Everton, so far scoring six goals for Arsenal in 33 league matches, adding 4 assists.
Another one of Wenger’s more successful purchases, although his inability to remain healthy for too long, always leaving some sort of hole at centre back can be disheartening. Vermaelen was signed from Ajax in 2009 for £10 million, since then playing in 71 matches for the club, scoring an impressive 13 goals.
The talent that just won’t turn into a star, Walcott was purchased from Southampton for £9 million in 2006, arriving before his 17th birthday. It took some time before Wenger started using him on a regular basis, but it’s pretty obvious that the French manager has yet to decide what it the best way to use the talented winger/striker/forward, who seems to be unhappy in recent times. Walcott has 27 goals and 27 assists in 152 league appearances for Arsenal.
A soft centre back with a good aerial game, Koscielny arrived at the Emirates in 2010 after one impressive season with Lorient that convinced Arsene Wenger to go for him. He cost £8.5 million, and has so far played in 64 matches for the club (out of the first team plans at the moment), scoring 4 goals.
Another panic buy from Arsene Wenger, one that’s worked out on the bright side, relatively, although Mertesacker’s slowness can be infuriating at times if you’re an Arsenal fan. At 27, he already has 82 caps for the German national team, and he cost £8 million to get from Werder Bremen, so far playing in 25 league matches for the gunners, without scoring a goal.
Purchased from Auxerre in 2007 for £7.5 million, Sagna is now one of the veterans on the Arsenal team, owning the right back position as long as he’s not injured, which happens quite a lot. He has played 153 league matches for the side, scoring 3 goals.
Another one of the talented players who was supposed to become a big greater than what he’s achieved, although he does turn in a flashy performance here and there. Rosicky, 31, was purchased from Borussia Dortmund in 2006 for £6.8, not becoming a new Robert Pires for the club. He has 13 goals and 16 assists in 113 league matches for the team, missing nearly half the matches Arsenal have had during his time due to injuries.
Came from Fenerbahce on the last day of the 2011 summer transfer window for £6.2 million, supposedly as the answer to the problems at left back after Gael Clichy took off to Manchester City. Santos hasn’t been exactly a wild success with Arsenal, with poor form and injuries slowing him down. He has played in 16 matches for the club, scoring two goals.
The 21 year old Welsh international has been with Arsenal since the age of 17, and was on his way up before Ryan Shawcross happened, and it seems Ramsey’s rise and transformation into one of the best midfielders in the Kingdom has been brought to a halt, although it’s too early to call it quits on a talented player. He cost £4.8 million to bring over from Cardiff in 2008, so far playing in 72 Premier League matches, scoring six goals and adding 11 assists.
Denilson – Currently on loan back in Brazil, the defensive midfielder, now 24, cost Arsenal £3.5 million back in 2006.
Sebastien Squillaci – Wenger loves his French centre backs, and Squillaci seems to be another forgotten one, far far at the end of the bench. Now 32, he was purchased from Sevilla in 2010 for £3.3 million, playing 23 of his 24 matches for the club during his first season. Since then? Once last year.
Lukasz Fabianski – A Polish goalkeeper with a knack for mistakes. Fabianski, 27, has been with Arsenal since 2007, purchased from Legia Warsaw for £2 million, since then playing 27 league matches for the club, but none in a year and a half.
Abou Diaby – The French international seems to be on the verge of a breakout season for quite some time, but when it keeps being on hold, maybe it’ll never happen, with injuries always seeming to be in the way. Diaby, 26, was purchased from Auxerre in 2006, since then playing 115 league matches for Arsenal, scoring 14 goals. He cost £2 million.
Park Chu-Young – The South Korean forward is currently on loan with Celta Vigo, playing only one match for Arsenal since being purchased from Moncao for £1.8 in 2011.
Carl Jenkinson – Not an academy player, Jenkinson was purchased from Charlton in 2011 for £1 million. At the age of 20, he seems to be slowly capturing a place in the lineup instead of an often injured Sagna, so far playing all four matches this season for the club.
Joel Campbell – A 20 year old Costa Rican striker who has yet to be used since joining Arsenal for £0.9 million from Saprissa in his home country. He is currently on loan in Spain, playing for Real Betis.
Vito Mannone – Maybe the next first team keeper, Mannone has been with Arsenal since the age of 17, joining their youth team from Atalanta, at the cost of £0.35 million. Maybe his loan last year to Hull City has turned him into the keeper someone once saw in him when he was a teenager.