Arsene Wenger will have a place in Arsenal history for years to come. The Frenchman has led them to numerous trophies and established them as part of the European elite. However, is Wenger in the wrong profession perhaps; a man who always seems to be making money would surely be better suited at Wall Street than the Emirates.
Below are some of Wenger’s financial masterstrokes!
The Spaniard was lured away from the Barcelona youth setup for £500,000 back in 2003 and became one of Arsenal’s best ever players, going on to captain the club and play over 200 league games for them. In 2011 Barcelona wanted Fabregas to return home, paying £35million to secure his services and making Arsenal £34.5million in profit. Such was his importance to the club that he is still applauded by English football betting fans when he returns to England in the Champions League.
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Plucked from the youth set-up of PSG at the age of 17 for a paltry £500,000, Anelka went on to make 65 appearances for the club. After a fantastic season in 1998 where Anelka netted 17 league goals, Real Madrid acquired his services for £22.5million. Anelka lasted one season at Madrid.
Wenger found the defender in his native Ivory Coast and signed him for £150,000 back in 2002. Toure went on to play more than 200 times for the Gunners. The billionaires of Manchester City paid £16million for Toure in 2009 making Arsenal a cool £15.85million profit.
Robin van Persie
Wenger signed the Dutch ace for £2.5million in 2004. The striker went on to play 194 times for the club and scored an impressive 96 times. League rivals Manchester United signed him in the summer of 2012 for £24million giving Arsenal a profit of £21.5million. He is now the favourite in the Titan Bet best odds to finish this season as top goalscorer.
Unlike the rest of the players Overmars was an established player with Ajax and Wenger actually had to shell out £5.5million to sign him back in 1997. The Dutch winger impressed during his time at Highbury before moving to Barcelona for £25million in 2000. Overmars’ time in Spain was sadly blighted by injury and he had to retire in 2004 at the age of 31.
These five players cost Arsenal £9.15million and were sold on for £122.5million, making Arsenal a staggering £113.35 profit.
In a recent interview discussing the capture of German Mesut Ozil, the Frenchman re-iterates his philosophy in the transfer market stating that he will always want to educate 60-80% of the squad internally and then build on top of that base by bringing in the best additions to complement the squad. The ability to pick up raw talents and polish them into stars has been a trademark of Arsenal while under the watchful eyes of Arsene Wenger, but the inability to retain these players at their peak in recent times has been problematic, irrespective of the large profits pocketed from these sales. With the new era of Wilshere, Ramsey and Gibbs on the rise, hopefully additions such as Mesut Ozil can stem the outflow of these young stars and allow Wenger to watch his current project reach its full potential.