Unai Emery stunned supporters by claiming that Arsenal had no money for transfers this month.
The Gunners had been tipped to move for Barcelona star Denis Suarez and ex-Atletico Madrid ace Yannick Carrasco in a bid to bolster their threadbare squad.
However, Emery’s announcement left a bitter taste in the mouth of supporters, who wasted no time venting their frustration. But now it has been revealed Arsenal’s net spend is the third highest of the Premier League’s top six over the past three seasons.
That would suggest the club have merely been careless with their transfer dealings, despite Arsene Wenger known for being famously frugal. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, the Emirates giants net spend sits at a whopping £158million – behind only the Manchester clubs.
That means league-leaders Liverpool – for all their big-money buys including Alisson and Virgil van Dijk – have a LOWER net spend than Arsenal, who sit fifth in the table. That can be attributed to some shrewd dealings by the Reds, including the £145m sale of Philippe Coutinho – and spending just £34m on Mohamed Salah.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have spent poorly in many cases, in hindsight – such as spending £17m on now-West Ham man Lucas Perez. While the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, just £7m last summer, can be considered bargains, spending £44m on Alexandre Lacazette – who is often benched by Emery – proves somewhat pricey.
Man City unsurprisingly lead the net spending stakes on £392m, while United sit second on £315m. Arsenal sit miles adrift of those two in third, ahead of Chelsea (£157m), Liverpool (£141m) and Tottenham (£41.3m) rounding off the top six.
Emery has claimed Arsenal will be hoping to conclude some loan moves this month – or even freebies – in a bid to add depth to his squad. But finding a top-four calibre player willing to join midway through the season at a non-Champions League club could prove much tougher than anticipated.