Arsenal’s top five signings of the last decade
Arsenal have had the image of being reluctant spenders in the Premier League for a long time. But, in the past decade, the Gunners did loosen the purse on occasions, splashing the cash for some remarkable footballers. So, who have been their top purchases during the last ten years?
Arsenal, for a long time under Arsene Wenger, developed the reputation of being reluctant spenders in the transfer market. But, in recent years things have changed somewhat at the Emirates Stadium, with the Gunners willing to pay top dollar for their players.
Arsenal’s top ten most expensive signings have come in the period between 2010 and 2019. But which of the many players to arrive at the Emirates during that period have proven to be the worthiest acquisitions? Let’s find out…
The Frenchman may have ended things on a bitter note with Arsenal last summer, but there is no denying the importance of the role Koscielny played under Wenger over the past decade.
Signed in the summer of 2010, Koscielny arrived in London from the French club Lorient in a €12.5 million deal. The Frenchman had his fair share of injury troubles during his stint with Gunners and things didn’t always go his way, especially in his first season in England. But the way he carried himself on the field with unwavering commitment and acted as a leader on the field made him an immediate fan favourite.
Koscielny was appointed the club captain towards the end of his career at Arsenal. The central defender went on to make 353 appearances for the North Londoners, winning three FA Cups. But the manner of his exit last summer has tarnished some of his legacy at the club.
Signed as a replacement for Robin van Persie in the summer of 2012, Olivier Giroud arrived at Arsenal in a €12 million deal, after having fired Montpellier to the Ligue 1 title in 2011-12. The Dutchman was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Giroud did his bit and much more during his time with the North London outfit to ensure the goals didn’t dry up.
The Frenchman racked up 253 appearances for Arsenal, plundering 105 goals in the process while assisting 41 more. Giroud won three FA Cups and three Community Shields with the Gunners, scoring some spectacular goals along the way.
The arrivals of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang forced Giroud out of Arsenal, with the Frenchman signing for Chelsea in January 2018. Although, he ended up joining a direct rival, the 33-year-old is remembered fondly by the Arsenal fans.
The German playmaker gets a bit of flak from fans and pundits for his lack of effort on the field at times, but one cannot question the impact that Mesut Ozil made upon arriving at Arsenal.
Signed from Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid in the summer of 2013, for a then club-record fee of €48 million, it did not take long for the German playmaker to sprinkle his magic at the Emirates and endear himself to the club faithful. With silky touches, defence-splitting passes, Ozil oozed class almost every time he was on the field.
Ozil, till date, has made 254 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 44 goals and assisting 77 more. There has been regression in his form in recent seasons while his carefree attitude gets questioned plenty, often being made the scapegoat for Arsenal’s poor form. With just a year left on his contract, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him leave the club in the next transfer window.
A year after raiding Real Madrid for Ozil, Arsenal swooped in on their arch rivals Barcelona, snapping up Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez for a reported fee of around €43 million. And, it turned out to be another inspired signing for the Gunners!
Alexis, in his debut season with Arsenal, fired them to a FA Cup triumph, scoring and assisting in the final against Aston Villa and was named the club’s player of the year. The Chilean repeated this feat again in 2016-17, scoring in the final to lead them to another FA Cup win and grabbing another Player of the Season award, after having scored 30 goals.
Sanchez’s time at Arsenal was littered with important goals throughout, before he ended things on a sour note in January 2018, signing for Manchester United. His career has been on a downward curve ever since. In total, he made 166 appearances for Arsenal, grabbing 80 goals and assisting 45 more.
The Gabonese international hasn’t been at the club for that long and may not have won any silverware yet, but the sheer impact he has made with his goals and the fact that he has saved the team from hairy moments on so many occasions gets his name on the list.
Aubameyang arrived at Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 for a reported fee of €63.8 million – a club record fee at the time and has been scoring goals left, right and center ever since. The 30-year-old has already plundered 61 goals in 97 matches for the Gunners and went on to win the Premier League Golden Boot in his first full season at the club (2018-19).
While the Gunners have continued to underperform this season, Aubameyang, who was thrust with the responsibility of the captaincy last year, has continued his goalscoring ways, having found the net 20 times in all competitions. But with his contract set to expire in a year and no likelihood of European football at the Emirates next season, this could very well turn out to be his final flurry at the club.
Honourable Mentions: Santi Carzola, Nacho Monreal.
Image courtesy: AFP