Arsenal has been battling its own relevance compared to its position in the last decade. The Gunners missing out on Champions League football is now a common phenomenon. With all the managerial fuss and AFTV ruckus, there is one saga that never gets boring- the ones Arsenal could have signed. But transfers that didn’t happen is a talk for another day.
Let’s turn the table and check the deals that happened but eventually, Arsenal failed, not the players. As paradoxical it may sound, the issue here is the club selling players early, who eventually are doing well.
Arsenal Reject: Serge Gnabry ??!!
Gnabry came through the ranks of the Arsenal academy to embrace Emirates. But Fortune didn’t really wink on his feet well enough as he scored just one and assisted 2 in 18 appearances. He left for Werder Bremen for a thimbleful amount £7 million. He has now spent 4 years in Bundesliga scoring 52 goals and 29 assists in 128 appearances. If the statistics don’t make you grin at the kind of steal the German was, the transfer value will.
There is an increase of about 1086% in his market value to a jaw-dropping £82.53 million. The club couldn’t render the potential of the winger and ended up selling him at a cheap giveaway price. If something is to be called a reject here considering Gnabry, it’s the London based club, not the player.
Jeff-Reine Adelaide: How it began?
Jeff-Reine Adelaide joined Arsenal from French side RC Lens in 2015. The club that boasts of prodigies like Kondongbia and Raphael Varane, saw another young prospect go to a Premier League giant under Wenger. Arsene Wenger has always encouraged youngsters and has a special French influence in his Arsenal history. This young Frenchman was no exception as the gaffer has wise words about him too. “Reine-Adelaide is something special you know. He is a great talent and when he came on you could see that”, he said after a pre-season game.
In the eventual successive years, change of managers and backroom staff happened. The 22-year-old than 20 eventually struggled to steal a glance of the incoming manager Unai Emery. Consequently, the Frenchman was loaned to Ligue 1 side, SCO Angers. Sadly, Emery didn’t seek his return and made the loan move permanent, parting with him for a sum of £1.44 million. At Angers, he fairly impressed scoring 4 goals and 4 assists as a 20-year-old. It is then that he caught the attention of Lyon officials and Les Gones decided to rope him in. Mutual nods concluded the deal at €25m (£23.1m) plus €2.5m (£2.3m) in potential add-ons. Arsenal did have a share on it as they had a 10% sell-on clause in his sale in 2018.
Blunder for Arsenal or just a Mistake?
To begin within such a case, Gnabry and Adelaide are different stories. Every player blooms in their own time. The extent of Adelaide’s potential and whether Arsenal did a blunder selling him is too early. Though financially speaking, buying a player for £2.25 million and selling him for £1.44 million is a clear loss on its face. So, it’s a mistake, rather than a blunder. Secondly, he is valued at £23 million as per transfermarkt, i.e., a 1500% increase of the price the Gunners sold him at. He is down with a cruciate ligament injury and is expected to be back after the Corona crisis ends. If he continues to perform, it won’t take much time to infer his sale a blunder and not a folly.