In the 2022/23 summer transfer window, Arsenal have been busy, bringing in five new players for a combined £118.86 million, with the aim of finally pushing Mikel Arteta’s side into the top four of the Premier League. However, this is actually a decrease in spending, compared to the previous summer, where they had spent just over £150 million on seven different players. Indeed, Ben White cost £50m all by himself!
This summer’s window also saw 12 players depart Arsenal, whether that be on loan or permanently, and this marked a serious squad reshuffle as Arteta seeks to build a group with the right blend to eventually challenge for the title. Despite the large number of players being transferred away from the club, the Gunners only managed to generate £21.42m in transfer fees, as the majority of players have either gone out on loan or left for free.
This leaves the north London giants with an overall loss, or net spend, of -£97.44m, but with a squad that looks much stronger, and we’re sure that’s a trade-off that the club are happy to accept, depending on how Arteta’s squad perform! In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the club’s ins and outs and analyse the role the new signings may play in the upcoming Premier League campaign.
Arsenal 2022/23 Signings
|Gabriel Jesus||£46.98m||25||Manchester City||Brazil|
|Oleksandr Zinchenko||£31.50m||25||Manchester City||Ukraine|
|Matt Turner||£5.73m||28||New England||USA|
Arsenal’s marquee signing, and arguably a very shrewd one, the 25-year-old Man City forward has joined the north London side for just over £45 million, with the Brazilian international signing a five-year deal. In order to entice Jesus to make the move to north London, the club have more than tripled his previous wage, paying him a reported £265k a week for his services.
Although an expensive addition, Jesus brings with him plenty of experience at the highest level of the game, having scored an impressive 58 Premier League goals during his time with the Cityzens. Arsenal fans will be keen for him to hit the ground running and bring much-needed experience to one of the youngest sides in the Premier League: the club’s average age is 24.3 years old, which is the third lowest.
The Brazilian seemed destined to fall down the pecking order at City and had been consistently played out of position by Pep Guardiola, who liked to play Jesus out wide, rather than as a no.9, which is where he is likely to feature for Arsenal. With the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, Jesus’s starts for the Cityzens would be few and far between, but he will be an important part of Arsenal’s team this season, most likely being one of the first names on the team sheet.
Alongside his success for City at club level, the striker has also played 56 times for Brazil, scoring 19 goals for an international team that is notoriously hard to break into. He also helped his country to lift the Copa America in 2019, scoring in the final against Peru (although he was sent off later in the game). Jesus arrives accustomed to constant success, having won four Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup, during his time in Manchester, and will be keen to add to his trophy collection whilst playing for the Gunners. To this we say, good luck Gabby!
Following Jesus to north London (they could have shared lifts!) is Oleksandr Zinchenko, the Ukrainian full back and utility player who has also seen his role at Man City reduced, and has decided to move on. The 25-year-old left back, who plays as a midfielder for his country, brings important versatility to Mikel Arteta’s side, who paid just over £30 million for his services.
Zinchenko has signed a four-year contract with the Gunners and declared that the opportunity to play for the north London giants was a “boyhood dream come true”, as they normally say, because he was a massive fan of the club as a child. Apparently, he really loved Gervinho!
Just like Jesus, Zinchenko arrives with a packed trophy cabinet, having won the same number of trophies as the Brazilian, plus an extra League Cup. He also boasts a wealth of international experience, having appeared 52 times for his nation, scoring eight goals. An on-field leader, he offers so much and could prove a brilliant acquisition.
A far less familiar face for Premier League fans, despite having the perfect surname for an Arsenal midfielder, is Fabio Vieira, who was signed by the Gunners back in June. The 22-year-old cost the north London side £31.5 million to complete his transfer from Porto to north London. The attacking midfielder, who can also play on the wing, scored six times and registered 14 assists in 27 league games last season.
Unlike the others, Vieira is yet to be capped internationally (by Portugal) but was awarded player of the tournament at the 2020 Under-21 European Championships. Hopes are high for the playmaker and if he can cement a spot in Arsenal’s starting XI, a senior call up surely won’t be far away.
Although a deal for the American shot-stopper was agreed way back in February, Matt Turner only arrived in north London in June. His previous club, MLS side New England, were competing in the Concacaf Champions League, and Turner therefore wanted to hang around until the tournament was concluded. The US international, who has so far made 15 appearances for his country, will most likely serve as backup to Aaron Ramsdale, and may fly under the radar this season, bar an injury to the Gunners’ number one. The 28-year-old has been signed on a three-year deal worth a reported £5.7m.
Another player unlikely to immediately feature for the Gunners, for different reasons, is 19-year-old Marquinhos. Described by club Technical Director, Edu, as “a player for the future”, the young winger cost the club just over £3m and has been signed on a four-year deal.
The Brazilian youth international had caught the eye in his native country, having made his debut for Sao Paulo aged 18, as well as helping the club to win the Campeonato Paulista in his first ever season. This term his gametime may be limited to cameo appearances coming off the bench, and perhaps the occasional cup game, given the quality of Arsenal’s first-team wingers.
William Saliba has been contracted to the north London side since 2019, when he was signed for a reported £27m from Saint-Etienne. As such, he does not feature in our table above but the 21-year-old will feel like a new signing for the Gunners, having spent the past three seasons on loan in France.
The centre-half was incredibly highly regarded when the Gunners signed him but Arteta decided he was not quite ready for the Premier League. The imposing defender continually impressed whilst out on loan, earning himself a first call up to the French national team in March 2022, and will provide Arsenal with much needed composure and quality at the heart of the defence. He is likely to form a key part of Arteta’s team this season, probably as a right-side centre-back, alongside Gabriel or Ben White.
Arsenal 2022/23 Transfers
|Player||Loan or Fee||Destination||Age||Nationality|
|Nicolas Pepe||Loan||Nice||27||Ivory Coast|
|Runar Alex Runarsson||Loan||Alanyaspor||27||Iceland|
It would be an extremely lengthy process to analyse each of Arsenal’s 12 “outs” in this transfer window. In addition, many of those are loan or free departures as said, which would typically not be transfers about which a huge fuss is made. Rather than analyse all of the minor deals, we have instead selected two of the club’s most high-profile departures below. Perhaps interestingly one is on loan, whilst the other was a free transfer for which the Gunners received no payment.
First up, we have Alex Lacazette. The former Gunners captain, star striker and French international leaves north London in a rather strange position. Having been signed for £46.5m back in 2017, off the back of scoring 28 league goals in 30 games for his boyhood Lyon the season prior, the Frenchman has never been able to recreate his brilliance in Ligue 1 during his time at Arsenal.
His best goal return came in his first season with the Gunners, in which he managed 14 league goals. This was a respectable return, especially adapting to a new league, country and culture. However, it was certainly one that fans would have hoped he would then be able to surpass as he grew more accustomed to the Premier League.
However, this never materialised, and although the 31-year-old leaves with 54 Premier League goals to his name, there is a definite feeling around the club that he could have done so much more. After the expiration of his contract in June 2022, the striker has now re-joined Lyon. This despite the fact that they aren’t playing in Europe, though he will be very warmly received, as he is, quite rightly given his stats, seen as one of their best ever players.
Another “what if?” player, although it would possibly be unfair to Lacazette to place him in the same category, is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian winger was signed by the Gunners for a club-record £72 million, which is more than Man City paid for Erling Haaland. In fact, that fee puts Pepe in the top 10 all-time PL most expensive signings at joint-ninth.
The fact that he’s now departing, albeit on loan, is a hugely disappointing outcome for both the club and player, especially considering the hope and expectation placed upon him when he arrived three seasons ago. The 27-year-old’s time in north London has been incredibly underwhelming, with the forward managing just 27 goals in 112 appearances, as he has struggled to recreate his stunning form for Lille in the Premier League.
Last season, Pepe lost his place in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI, only making 20 Premier League appearances and scoring just once. He has now joined Nice on loan, a club littered with ex-Premier League players that include Ross Barkley and former Gunner Aaron Ramsey. Can Nice get the best out of these players or are they just enjoying a bit of sun in the south of France? Time will tell but even though Pepe’s deal is just a loan, he seems highly unlikely return to north London.