Arsenal has been dominating the headlines at the start of the summer transfer window.
Not content with finishing second to Manchester City last season, Mikel Arteta has reinforced his side with some of the biggest transfers of the summer. Kai Havertz is already through the door and Declan Rice and Ajax defender Jurrien Timber are expected to be announced in the coming days.
These signings, once confirmed mean that Arsenal now have eight of the twenty most valuable players in the Premier League.
This is based on CIES Football Observatory’s list of transfer values, adjusted to assume three or more years of a player’s contract remaining. The list is made by the International Centre for Sports Studies in Switzerland, and takes into account factors such as age, ability, nationality and the team they play for.
Manchester City has five players in the top twenty, including the most expensive player in the league. Erling Haaland. Liverpool has three players, Manchester United two, and Chelsea and Tottenham one each.
Only two of Arsenal’s players, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, are in the top ten, but the Gunners have six players in the 11-20 most valuable Premier League players including new signings Kai Havertz (11th) and Declan Rice (17th).
Declan Rice’s $135 million move from West Ham United will make him one of the most expensive British players ever, but CIES only values him at just over $85 million. He’s valued at less than Kai Havertz, who cost Arsenal up to $83 million from Chelsea.
Another recent list by CIES at the start of June took contract length into account. Arsenal currently has six of the twenty most valuable Premier League players based on that list, one ahead of Manchester City and Liverpool with five each.
But with players like RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, Internazionale’s Nicolo Barella and Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos linked to Arsenal’s Premier League rivals, other sides could soon have a larger representation of the Premier League’s most valuable players.
Arsenal’s new signings are part of a $750 million rebuild under Mikel Arteta. That spending includes five of those eight most valuable players, as well as Gabriel, who is the 23rd most valuable player in the league. This might fuel expectations that Arsenal can compete for the title with Manchester City this season, or even give ammunition to fans of rival sides.
But a large part of player value is based on age, and all the Arsenal players in the top 25 were born in 1997 or later so are likely to have not yet hit their peak.
Those three new signings will give Arsenal that depth in quality that is needed to compete with Manchester City though.
Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus said last season’s title challenge fell apart when William Saliba got injured. Jurrien Timber, valued at more than $65 million by CIES, gives Arsenal another top level center-back, possibly at a cheaper price than expected due to Ajax failing to reach the Champions League.
Having a great first eleven isn’t enough to win the Premier League these days, as Manchester City can bring world class players off the bench, which is why City can go on unstoppable runs of wins toward the end of the season when other teams are feeling the impact of injuries and fatigue.
Mikel Arteta’s summer spending isn’t over yet, but Arsenal’s early signings suggest the north London club realizes what’s needed to build on last season’s title push.