Arsenal is one of the most successful clubs in England. It’s especially their success of past two decades, and their squad having boasted some marquee players, that has seen the club become one of the most recognized clubs globally. The London-based outfit might have suffered from limited transfer activity and a long barren streak of trophies of late, but they still are the fourth most valuable club in the world.
Valued at over 1 billion
Arsenal’s current value stands at $1.3 B according to Forbes. Its stakeholders consist mainly of billionaires. So looking at all this, you’d think Arsenal would have no shortage of transfer funds – in fact you might think that they are splashing the cash around like Manchester City. Well, if you have followed the world of football at all over the recent years, you know that Arsenal have not exactly gone crazy on the transfer market, at least as a buying club.
Sure, they have made some big-money sales, like Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie, but replacements for them have not been players anywhere near to similar stature. Their net profit in transfer market for last five seasons is quite impressive £45 M. Whether the reason for lack of outlay for transfers is caused by having to pay off Emirates, or just frugality of Wenger or the board, the money, and in turn success, has been tight of late.
Successful throughout the years
It wasn’t always this way, though. Arsenal has achieved a lot over the years and has won the top division third most times – only Manchester United and Liverpool are more successful. They also have second most FA Cup titles, again only second to Manchester United.
Arsenal’s earliest successes date back to 50’s, and it has been picking up title in almost every decade since – only 60’s was completely empty of top division wins. All the rest of decades have seen Arsenal win at least one title.
It all culminated of course into hiring of Arsene Wenger in 1996. Wenger turned the then lower midtable side into a title contender, picking up his first Premier League title in 1997/98. After this club was fighting for top spots every season until 2005, when it last achieved second place. Even after that Gunners achieved some third place finishes and have retained their spot in the top four, at least before current season.
The fondest memories for Arsenal fans are of course the times of “The Invincibles”, in 2003/04, when Arsenal marched into Premier League title unopposed without losing a single match. The team contained such legends as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira.
Seven trophyless years is too long
Since winning the 2005 FA Cup, Arsenal has not won any trophies. There were close shaves when the club reached the final of League Cup twice, but lost on both occasions against Chelsea and Birmingham respectively.
While Arsenal can lament about being limited financially lately and having been making profit in the transfer market, it would be wrong to say there has been no spending – last summer alone there was investment of £44 M into new players. However this was completely offset on sales and while Arsenal might have not lost money, their squad got worse over the summer with losses of Alex Song and Robin Van Persie.
Probablly the biggest loss of players over recent years are best striker last season Robin van Persie traveled to Old Trafford last summer and expected Cesc Fabregas move to Barcelona two years ago.
It’s not Arsenal’s style though to splash big on players, and Santi Cazorla’s £ 20 M move last summer is the biggest buy Arsenal have done over the recent years. Purchase of Andrei Arshavin for £15 M comes close, and while the Russian was decent in Arsenal he never really shone. In the end, Wenger’s best buys always have been bargains.
Perhaps buying players on overblown prices is not the answer to Arsenal’s current barren streak. The fact is though that the current squad pales in comparison to the one that Arsenal had and could have had they not been forced to sell their crown jewels.
Attack-minded midfielder Santi Cazorla scored 8 EPL goals already and netted hat-trick against Reading as the third Spaniard in Premier League after Fernando Torres and Jordi Gomez. Lukas Podolski did some great job on left side and scored 5 EPL goals. One of the biggest disappointment of summer transfer window in 2012 is RVP’s replacement Oliver Giroud from Montpellier scored only 4 EPL goals for his new club.
Arsenal are retaining their financial well-being though and you can trust that they’ll stay up there. Wenger believe in great future for his club with British core players(as they are easier too keep in club) likes Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Carl Jenkinson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.