Arsenal

The seven forgotten stars who banked Arsenal £75m and how they have fared since leaving

It’s fair to say that Arsenal haven’t always struck gold on their signings over the last ten years – missing on a few players here and there.

However, if there’s one thing the Arsenal board have done an impressive job in – it’s making a profit on players who had failed to work out at the club. This past summer, the club have had one of their better transfer windows, with Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Nuno Tavares, Albert Lokonga and Martin Odegaard all looking like useful players who could remain for years to come.

And with the likes of William Saliba to return, along with young stars in Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli – the club can genuinely look ahead and be excited for what is to come.

The money spent on the aforementioned players could well have been raised on the profits of selling former Gunners who had not worked out.

Here are seven Arsenal players sold within the last four years who you may have forgotten about – who collectively brought in just shy of £80million in their sales.

Krystian Bielek – £10million

The Polish centre-back had been a highly-rated young defender who caught the eye quickly after joining from Legia Warsaw in 2015. His aerial prowess and passing ability saw him leapfrog several centre-backs in the youth set-up as he would quickly make his Arsenal debut in the League Cup just two months after signing.

He would never go on to make a league appearance, though, and was sold to Derby County after three loan spells away from the club.

Since joining Derby, the Polish international has suffered a torrid time with injuries – rupturing his ACL twice – leaving him away from the pitch for 18 months.

Gabriel Paulista – £10million

Joining from Villarreal as a young, exciting centre-back, it’s fair to say that it never really worked out for Gabriel at Arsenal. Although he had his moments, the Brazilian was reckless and struggled to adapt to English football.

He returned to Spain after two years in north London and has since gone on to become a dependable centre-back for Los Murciélagos.

 

Gabriel Paulista

Francis Coquelin – £12.6million

Arguably the most memorable player on this list, Coquelin made more than 100 league appearances for Arsenal after being with the club for over 10 years. Whilst he had some good moments at Arsenal, his decade with the club was far from productive – going on to be a much-maligned player towards the end of his days in north London.

Despite a promising 2015-16 and 2016-17 season where he made 55 appearances, he never really asserted himself as a player who could drive the Gunners’ midfield.

He would leave the club in 2018, also signing for Valencia. He would make a slow start to life in Spain, before establishing himself as a regular in midfield in his second season.

Coquelin signed for Villarreal this past year, and has impressed for Unai Emery’s side since the move.

Chuba Akpom – £3.5million

Six or seven years ago, Akpom was one of the more highly-rated young English strikers coming up – scoring 21 goals in 40 games for England’s youth sides.

However, he struggled to progress, being sent out on loan to six different teams scoring just nine goals in over 80 games during his spells away from Arsenal.

He was sold permanently to Greek side PAOK in 2018, before recently joining Middlesbrough. Akpom returned to PAOK this season on loan, after an unconvincing season in the Championship.

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It’s fair to say that Arsenal haven’t always struck gold on their signings over the last ten years – missing on a few players here and there.

 

However, if there’s one thing the Arsenal board have done an impressive job in – it’s making a profit on players who had failed to work out at the club. This past summer, the club have had one of their better transfer windows, with Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Nuno Tavares, Albert Lokonga and Martin Odegaard all looking like useful players who could remain for years to come.

 

 

And with the likes of William Saliba to return, along with young stars in Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli – the club can genuinely look ahead and be excited for what is to come.

 

The money spent on the aforementioned players could well have been raised on the profits of selling former Gunners who had not worked out.

 

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Here are seven Arsenal players sold within the last four years who you may have forgotten about – who collectively brought in just shy of £80million in their sales.

 

Krystian Bielek – £10million

The Polish centre-back had been a highly-rated young defender who caught the eye quickly after joining from Legia Warsaw in 2015. His aerial prowess and passing ability saw him leapfrog several centre-backs in the youth set-up as he would quickly make his Arsenal debut in the League Cup just two months after signing.

 

 

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He would never go on to make a league appearance, though, and was sold to Derby County after three loan spells away from the club.

 

 

Since joining Derby, the Polish international has suffered a torrid time with injuries – rupturing his ACL twice – leaving him away from the pitch for 18 months.

 

Gabriel Paulista – £10million

Joining from Villarreal as a young, exciting centre-back, it’s fair to say that it never really worked out for Gabriel at Arsenal. Although he had his moments, the Brazilian was reckless and struggled to adapt to English football.

 

He returned to Spain after two years in north London and has since gone on to become a dependable centre-back for Los Murciélagos.

 

 

Gabriel Paulista

Francis Coquelin – £12.6million

Arguably the most memorable player on this list, Coquelin made more than 100 league appearances for Arsenal after being with the club for over 10 years. Whilst he had some good moments at Arsenal, his decade with the club was far from productive – going on to be a much-maligned player towards the end of his days in north London.

 

Despite a promising 2015-16 and 2016-17 season where he made 55 appearances, he never really asserted himself as a player who could drive the Gunners’ midfield.

 

He would leave the club in 2018, also signing for Valencia. He would make a slow start to life in Spain, before establishing himself as a regular in midfield in his second season.

 

Coquelin signed for Villarreal this past year, and has impressed for Unai Emery’s side since the move.

 

Chuba Akpom – £3.5million

Six or seven years ago, Akpom was one of the more highly-rated young English strikers coming up – scoring 21 goals in 40 games for England’s youth sides.

 

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However, he struggled to progress, being sent out on loan to six different teams scoring just nine goals in over 80 games during his spells away from Arsenal.

 

He was sold permanently to Greek side PAOK in 2018, before recently joining Middlesbrough. Akpom returned to PAOK this season on loan, after an unconvincing season in the Championship.

 

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Lucas Perez – £4million

Perez signed for Arsenal for £18m after an impressive season in La Liga with Deportivo La Coruna.

However, it would quickly become apparent that he wasn’t going to be the player Arsene Wenger thought he had acquired – making just 11 appearances and scoring one goal.

Perez was sold to West Ham after two years at the club, with whom he’d spend a year before returning to Spain.

He has currently made a strong start to life at new club Elche – scoring two goals in three games in La Liga.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide – £1.5million

Probably the one on this list who Arsenal would regret – although he impressed during pre-season games, Reine-Adelaide was never given a chance at Arsenal.

Since leaving the club, Reine-Adelaide had a largely impressive season with Angers before being sold to Lyon for £22million after just one season.

Since joining, though, the 23-year-old has been marred with injuries – restricting him to just 15 league appearances before joining Nice on loan last season.

Still at a young age and showing bags of potential, the Frenchman has time ahead of him, but must get over his nagging injuries.