Arsenal have been notoriously bad sellers in the market compared to the elite Premier League sides. Both Liverpool and Chelsea in particular have blown the Gunners out the water in this area, being able to demand big fees for surplus players.
Arsenal have made few sales of notes in the past few seasons with only Joe Willock, Emi Martinez and Alex Iwobi bringing in more than £15 million per sale in the past three summers. Meanwhile, Chelsea have seen Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata, Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori bring in more than £200 million in total sales.
Although in more recent seasons Liverpool’s sales haven’t been big, mainly due to having already sold off their top talents for good money, their past business speaks for itself. Danny Ings, Dominik Solanke, Danny Ward, Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho, Christian Benteke, Jordan Ibe and Joe Allen brought in more than £250 million across four summers.
Arsenal’s reputation has had a drastic impact and clubs know that they can get some bargains or simple loans for players. Edu, the club’s technical director, has even resorted to terminating contracts as teams simply haven’t wanted to pay for their players.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all left for nothing in the space of just over a year. Now with Matteo Guendouzi and Dinos Mavropanos moved on for an approximate combined figure of £10 million, despite already being worth easily double, maybe even triple, that in the current market, Edu must react.
Players such as Pablo Mari, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Hector Bellerin, Nicolas Pepe and Lucas Torreira are expected to be sold this summer. The received income could drastically change the capabilities of Arsenal’s frequency of summer signings.
The chance to show ruthlessness and change is with Torreira. The Uruguayan had an option in his loan deal with Fiorentina to leave for an agreed 15m. However, the deadline has now expired with the Florence-based club reportedly looking to strike a cheaper deal.
“When we agreed on the €1.5 million loan with Arsenal last summer, I got from the English club that Fiorentina would not pay that money if Lucas played at least 25 games,” Torreira’s agent told Fiorentina News.
“With this, we set the option-to-buy at €15million (£12.8m), payable in six instalments of €2.5m (£2.1m) by 2025. We had agreed on a (player) contract with Fiorentina for the coming seasons of €2.7million (£2.3m) net a year. Fiorentina, however, now wanted to lower both his salary and the cost of the transfer.”
Torreira has not made the situation easy for Arsenal having come out and spoken of his intentions to remain in Italy with Fiorentina. The Florentines know that this bodes well in negotiations.
“My intention is to stay at Fiorentina. But it will be necessary for the club to find an agreement with Arsenal. I’m perfectly fine in Florence. I am fine in Italy,” he told Fan Page via football italia.
Not the best situation when you need to negotiate a fee. Napoli and Juventus have been said to be circling around the player and his final words about being ‘fine’ in Italy seemingly would suggest he could be open to other Serie A clubs.
Edu faces the task of ensuring the best move here but also with what that means for the club’s sales reputation. Frankly, the original deal six-instalment deal Torreira’s agent revealed was pitiful for an asset that won three player of the month awards for La Viola.
Arsenal need better and the fans are right to demand more. The club has been changing, this aspect has yet to catch up and the Brazilian director needs to make good on it now.