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The truth behind Arsenal’s 150m transfer budget

Arsenal are closing in on completing two permanent deals in the coming days. Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard are expected to arrive in north London before the Chelsea fixture, at the weekend, for a total value of just over £50m including add-ons.

Earlier in the transfer window, Arsenal were rumoured to have a transfer budget of £150m provided by the American ownership – Kroenke Sports and Entertainment. Despite this not being the case, the rumoured figure is still proving to be accurate, but it is funded from the Bank of England loan that Arsenal took out to help as a result of the financial disarray the club were in after a damaging period without fans in stadiums during the Coronavirus pandemic.   

Over the course of the last decade, when The Kroenke’s had partial ownership of the club and more recently whilst the American’s have had 100% ownership; The Kroenke’s have not once reached into their own pocket to put their money where their mouth is despite sounding like a broken record, every year when they claim we should ‘be excited’. So, should we be surprised that the money is being borrowed? Probably not.

What business has been done so far at Arsenal?

So far this summer, Arsenal have signed a backup left-back, a backup central midfielder and centre-back who can play out from the back confidently. For a total of under £85m, the business that has been confirmed so far by the club has not been bad.

Ben White signs for Arsenal ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Getty Images

What business have Arsenal still got left to do this summer?

Edu still looks to complete the aforementioned deals for a goalkeeper who can challenge Bernd Leno for a starting position and the number one jersey and the permanent signing of Martin Odegaard who was loaned from Real Madrid to Arsenal during the second part of last season. On top of that, Arsenal want to look at their options in terms of being proactive by preparing options to sign at right-back if Hector Bellerin was to leave and a list of names that are realistic centre-forward options with Alex Lacazette being on the last years of his contract in north London.

Why did Arsenal sign Martin Odegaard?

Sources tell Gooner Talk that striking a deal for James Maddison was ‘an attractive prospect’ for the north London club but a deal was too complicated to be completed during a difficult transfer window, such as this one. Arsenal have been adamant that signing a goalscoring attacking midfielder was the club’s number one priority this summer and despite Arsenal initially only wanting to take the Norwegian on a loan with an obligation to buy, Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar wanted their top target and therefore decided to put their money on the table upfront; just how Real Madrid requested for the deal to be structured. In terms of technical ability, the Arsenal hierarchy were ‘impressed’ with what they saw from Odegaard during his game time at Arsenal on loan – most notably in the north London derby at Emirates Stadium.

How much money have Arsenal spent?

Arsenal have spent around £125m, with just two weeks of the transfer window to go, which is £100m if you factor in the sale of Willock to Newcastle. An Arsenal spokesperson has said that the board have behaved ‘proactively’ but it is very clear to see that the club is not satisfied and there is a job still to be done when it comes to player sales and player arrivals.

Despite no concrete reports, signing a number nine is certainly on Arsenal’s shopping list and if Hector Bellerin is found a buyer then Arsenal will most likely look to bring in a new right-back too. This means that Arsenal could spend well over the reported £150m that Arsenal have borrowed from the Bank of England.

Arsenal
Mikel Arteta speaking to Arsenal DIgital ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Getty Images

Has Mikel Arteta been backed this summer?

Mikel Arteta has not been backed directly by The Kroenke’s, but that is unlikely to happen with any Arsenal manager for as long as KSE are in full control of the club. Mikel Arteta has got a point to prove to the fans, players, and board going into his second full season in north London as the Arsenal head coach. Another season outside of Europe would be mediocre so if Arteta wants to retain his job then he must finish in the Top 6 or he has to be sacked. Arsenal are spending close to £200m in a difficult transfer window and therefore you have to argue that Arteta has been given his ammunition and now it is time for his team to go into the new season all guns blazing.

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