Morning all. Let me start by addressing yesterday’s blog where I attempted to explain the truth about transfer budgets, and how it actually works.
The short version was “Arsenal gave £50m to spend in the summer pre-sales, but this is not the transfer budget. This £50m is to be spent on increased wages and amortised transfer fees”. Do read the full version, click here.
I write a lot of rubbish, I write some stuff that I think is good. Often the stuff I think is good and well thought out gets just a few 100 hits. Whilst often the rubbish can get thousands.
Yesterday’s blog was not planned. I was in my garden, on a break from mowing my lawn, rum and lemonade in hand (yes, it was only 9.30am) and explaining for the umpteenth time about how transfer fees are spread across the length of the entire project. I decided instead of continually having to explain it, I’d write a blog.
I was not expecting the blog to take off how it did. Reading the response bought a smile to my face. It felt like a blog that enlightened those who read it. Explained to them how things worked. Added to their knowledge. So a big thanks to everyone that read it and shared it. To have the blog “liked” by Big Dave Ornstein was certainly a highlight.
Leading on from yesterday’s blog, one thing I spoke about was about how an increase in wages comes out of that pot of gold we have available to increase over all costs of the club. And that if you want to control wages, you often have to let players leave to free up further cash for new players.
And that is what has happened today as Santi Cazorla agreed to join Villarreal on a feee transfer.
It is sad to let the happy little Spaniard leave, but he is 34 in December and has had two years injury. He heart might be broken, but the head says we were right not being too aggressive offering him a new contract.
Cazorla was in £90,000 a week. That is £4.6m a year. A lot of money invested in a player who has not played.
You the have another outgoing player who has barely appeared this season. Per Mertesacker. He was on £70,000 a week. Another £3.6m a year.
Combined, the pair earned £8.2m between them last year. They played 365 minutes of Premier League football combined.
The reality is, unlike if Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey left, neither Cazorla or Mertesacker has to be replaced to maintain the status quo. That means the £8.2m in wages, or £160k a week, can be invested back in the squad wherever we feel fit.
That is the wages paid for a world class player without changing our current transfer outgoings.
Then we come to Jack Wilshere. It seems being left out of the World Cup has made him re-think his future at Arsenal. Perhaps he has decided that he wants to be assured of first team football – a guarantee he will never get at a top club. The question for Wilshere is “how far is he will to drop for first team football?”. Is he really going to be happy at Everton, Wolves or Leicester?
If he does leave, that free’s up another £80,000 a week. Now let’s be silly.
Arsenal lose both Wilshere and Cazorla for nothing. For the £170,000 a week (£8.8m a year) we save in wages for both players, we go out and buy the world class central midfielder we need. Is that not a positive?
I love Wilshere, but he is not or every will be world class. If he does leave, it gives us a lot of flexibility to use his salary and Cazorla’s money on that top replacement, and still have plenty in the lot to buy a top defensive midfielder.
And finally Aaron Ramsey.
I honestly think he is playing a game with the club.
With Cazorla gone, it leaves us with 4 senior central midfielders – Ramsey, Wilshere, Elneny, Xhaka.
If Wilshere also leaves, Ramsey will know he can pretty much name his price. The club could not afford to lose Cazorla, Wilshere & Ramsey, leaving us with just Elneny and Xhaka. We would need to go out and buy another 3 central midfielders if that happened. Ramsey is waiting to see how the cards fall before deciding to go all in.
I expect he will stay, and be made captain.
So if Wilshere and Cazorla leave, we replace them with a single top midfielder, and use our current budgeted funds to buy a defensive midfielder, our strength I. The middle of the park would have grown. If we can get someone like Max Meyer on a free, even better:
Xhaka DM Ramsey
Elneny AMN Meyer
Enjoy your Sunday.