The Gunners of Arsenal have only just begun this season’s transfer business with only outgoing deals so far. Every team’s transfer news is available from our Premier League Team Primer! We’ll link to all our transfer write-ups and the latest Arsenal transfer news! If you believe the hype around this transfer window, you should probably visit often (nudge nudge). There might be some pretty exotic transfers in for Arsenal! This is the second transfer window that Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, will get to work with. So far, the news indicates that the Arsenal manager could have a flurry of transfers as he looks to reshape the side in his image.
Arsenal transfers (incoming):
Nicolas Pepe ($91M Transfer from LOSC Lille): Pepe absolutely demolished the French Ligue 1 last year. It total, he would go on to make 41 appearances yielding 23 goals and twelve more assists. That equates to basically one goal or assist per appearance (about 86 minutes) which is a ridiculous return. The 24-year-old joins from LOSC Lille who acquired him from SCO Angers in July 2017 for a mere $11.5M. Despite Arsenal finishing fifth in the Premier League and having a positive (+22) goal differential, I still think this is a good signing for the club. Arsenal’s goal difference is inflated by some rather lopsided wins, but they struggled to be anywhere near Manchester City or Liverpool’s goalscoring ability. This is one of those acquisitions that shows Premier League opponents that they are serious about being contenders in this league and aren’t afraid to splash some cash.
William Saliba ($34.5M Transfer from AS Saint-Étienne): Saliba joins Arsenal for a hefty sum for a youngster, seemingly it also included a loan back clause. The youngster was immediately sent back to AS Saint-Étienne where he had broken onto the Ligue 1 scene. He made 19 appearances for the side across all competitions at center back. In the Ligue 1 alone, he made 13 starts with three more substitute appearances for nearly 80 minutes per appearance and played quite well. The youngster will get great first-team experience with Saint-Étienne while the French club will get a hefty financial boost and time to find a new signing. Update: Saliba has gone on loan to Saint-Étienne as part of his transfer agreement.
Gabriel Martinelli ($8M from Ituano Futebol Club): Martinelli is being billed as the next Brazilian wonderkid (I feel like I’ve heard this a lot doing this segment). The 18-year old comes straight from the club he made his first-team appearance at 16-years old. He just missed out on the Brazilian squad for the Copa America despite being in the initial squad. One concern being tossed around for the Gunners is whether or not he’ll be able to get a work permit without having made the Brazilian national team. I’ve seen reports that he’s on the verge of gaining an Italian passport (which would remove the need for a work permit). His father is Italian, and so he’s eligible for it, which makes him an EU citizen; thus, he’ll be able to play for the team in England. There is competition for playing time at the forward position, but I still think he’s likely to get some time, but the question remains how much?
Dani Ceballos (Loan from Real Madrid): Ceballos has been with Real Madrid since July 2017. He was largely in a rotation role for the La Liga side. In spite of that, he would still make 23 appearances for the side averaging nearly 55 minutes per appearance. The central midfielder also added goals to the team’s cause. Ceballos will join an Arsenal team that has a lot of depth in the defensive midfield position, but less in the central midfield/playmaker role. Ceballos is likely to add some playmaking component, and there was likely an expectation that he would regularly feature in the side.
Arsenal transfers (outgoing):
Krystian Bielik ($9.5M Transfer to Derby): Bielik has been with Arsenal for five years; however, he’s never done much of anything in London. He’s spent every season on loan except one since joining the club, and he’s no closer to the first team. The 21-year-old played well last season for Charlton in League One, but I think a move to Derby in the Championship is probably more in line with his potential. This puts the player on track to making more regular starts. Plus, this deal is reported to have some additional clauses that could make the Gunners even more from the transfer. As of right now, with just the base feel alone they’ll make about $7M in profit on the youngster.
Laurent Koscielny ($5.7M Transfer to Girons Bordeaux): After nine years with Arsenal, Koscielny will depart for Girons for about half of the fee that Arsenal paid for him back in 2010. He’d been a big part of this Arsenal side while Wenger was at the helm, but his role diminished substantially under Emery. In the most recent seasons, he only made 17 appearances for the first team scoring three goals in the Premier League. He featured more regularly in the Europa League and would appear in ten games, but his value to the team seems to have diminished. With the substantial amounts of money that Arsenal spent this year, it only makes sense to move on players with already reducing roles.
David Ospina ($4M transfer to SSC Napoli): Ospina is one of the few transfer deals that Arsenal have made so far this season. Ospina is transferring to the club where he spent the last season. Clearly, he made a good impression, and the Italians were willing to part with some cash to get him full time. In his previous season at SSC Napoli, he made 24 total appearances (including Serie A, Champions League, and Cup matches) during which he kept eight clean sheets. He averaged one goal against per game, though it increases to about 1.5 goals allowed if you exclude his clean sheets. In the prior season, Ospina made only 21 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions. During that span he kept nine clean sheets; however, Ospina was deemed unnecessary for the Arsenal side and will transfer his talents to Napoli. This probably should not come as a major surprise given that Petr Cech had been brought in. Then they moved in another starting keeper in Bernard Leno. Between those two, there wasn’t a ton of space left for Ospina to operate in. For his sake, it’s probably best to transfer to a team where he’s the starter and not the third-string goalkeeper.
Takuma Asano ($1M Transfer to Partizan): Asano was brought into the Arsenal camp a number of years ago, but like Bielik, he never made the first team. In fact, in the three years he spent with Arsenal they would all be spent on loan, failing to register even one appearance for the club. Arsenal is eating a few million dollars in losses on this transfer, but if he’s not going to be valued added for the club, they might as well separate now. The total loss on this transfer will end up being a little over $2M after the transfer fee paid by Partizan (and the $1M loan fee paid by Hannover 96). Overall, I don’t have any real feelings one way or the other on this one.
Cohen Bramall (Free Transfer to Colchester United): Bramall was a bit of a discovery signing, he had been released from a number of small clubs in Europe. However, he was a cheap acquisition at about ~$50k. I think this was worthy of a shot because there was always room for a reward to be reaped. However, this will put Bramall in an arena that’s more suited to his abilities and get him off the Gunners payroll. It also says a fair bit about Bramall that he’s already signed a new deal and isn’t wasting any time getting back into soccer. I think this is about the player and his ability to recognize that he might have been a little out of his league in the top tier.
Carl Jenkinson (Free Transfer to Nottingham Forest): Jenkinson made a couple of appearances for Arsenal in the Premier League for 80 minutes per appearance. However, his total number appearances in a Gunners shirt last season was a whopping eight appearances for about 580 minutes. This move is a good one for Jenkinson as he’s reaching the point in his career where he should regularly be featuring and this will provide him an opportunity to do that. Jenkins is transferring to Nottingham Forest who might just be a surprise contender for the Championship this season. They finished ninth last year, who knows what they can accomplish this season?
Aaron Ramsey (Free Transfer to Juventus): Ramsey came from Cardiff City all the way back in the 1998-1999 season. He’s been quite the club servant, making over 370 appearances for the team. He also has 65 goals and 65 assists to his name. This transfer from Arsenal doesn’t really surprise me. Ramsey has been talking for a few seasons now about how he wants to compete for trophies. It surely didn’t help his transfer intentions that Arsenal was beaten in the Europa League final. Ramsey will definitely have the opportunity to compete for trophies once he’s completed his transfer to Juventus. Regardless of the reasons behind the transfer, Arsenal will no doubt miss his services.
Additionally, I might even wager that the worst part of this transfer from an Arsenal perspective it that there’s is absolutely zero transfer fee. Transfermarkt is suggesting that Ramsey’s market value is right at about $40-45M, and they missed out on everything. Maybe Emery was hoping to prove to Ramsey that the club could compete for trophies, but that seems like a fairly substantial risk.
Petr Cech (Retirement): The writing has been on the wall for Arsenal’s Petr Cech to make his final transfer. He transferred to Arsenal from Chelsea after his starts began to decline. Now, it’s fully expected that he’ll move from Arsenal, back to Chelsea but this time for a coaching role. Cech’s position, like at Chelsea, became more precarious at Arsenal when Bernd Leno transferred into the club. Initially, the transfer did not affect Cech’s role, but the new Arsenal transfer began to cut into his playing time. Cech spent three full years with this Arsenal team. He would wear the Arsenal shirt 139 times throughout his career, allowing 158 goals, and keeping 54 clean sheets. His statistics at Arsenal are only part of his career numbers. The exceptional keeper was just shy of playing 500 times in a Chelsea shirt, allowing 393 goals with an astonishing 228 clean sheets.
Danny Welbeck (Free Transfer to Watford): Welbeck was actually trained at the academy of one of Arsenal’s biggest rivals, Manchester United. He spent much of his career on various loan transfers before being bought for nearly $20M in 2014. After his transfer into Arsenal, in just four years he has nearly surpassed the many seasons spent with Manchester United. He’s managed 126 Arsenal appearances, with 32 goals and 15 assists (compared to 142 appearances, 29 goals, and 21 assists at Manchester). I’m sure Arsenal would have liked to part ways on a paid transfer, but this one doesn’t sting nearly as much as Ramsey. There were discussions as recently as March that the Arsenal player might get a new contract offer. However, it seems like that didn’t occur. Welbeck had been trying to recover from an injury, and either did not improve quickly/fully enough. Either that or he did not appreciate the contract terms offered to him by Arsenal.
Dejan Iliev (loan to SKF Sered): Iliev joined back in 2012 on a free transfer. Although he has yet to appear for the Arsenal First team, the 24-year-old made 39 appearances for the U23 team. He allowed 64 goals, but still managed to keep 12 clean sheets. He even appeared for Arsenal’s U19 UEFA Cup where he made eight appearances with ten goals allowed and one clean sheet. He’s also featured regularly from the reserves side. He is going out to get some first-team soccer with the Slovakian top-tier side and will probably be their regular starting keeper.
Last Update: August 7, 2019