How many players has Arsene Wenger signed between Aug.1st and 14th?

Using Arsenal Report Transfer Center, I went back and looked through every signing Arsene Wenger has made since 1996. I wanted to see how many players Wenger has signed between August 1st and 14th. Why the 1st to the 14th? That’s the time when Wenger is most busy setting his team up for the new season and I suspected that Wenger simply doesn’t sign players during that time.

Here is what I found.

Arsenal have signed 197 players in Wenger’s tenure. This includes free transfers and the low-cost prospects that Wenger often signs just for the business purposes of selling them on for a profit later.

Of those 197, only 15 were signed during the period identified.

Of the 15 of 4 were automatic first team starters: Cazorla, Henry, Wreh, and Vieira.

Here is the full list:

Hugo Keto HJK Helsinki Goalkeeper £55,000 01 Aug 2014
Santi Cazorla Malaga Midfielder £11,900,000 07 Aug 2012
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Southampton Midfielder £7,000,000 08 Aug 2011
Armand Traoré Monaco Defender £250,000 01 Aug 2005
Mart Poom Sunderland Goalkeeper Free 06 Aug 2005
Arturo Lupoli Parma Forward £200,000 01 Aug 2004
Gaël Clichy Cannes Defender £250,000 04 Aug 2003
Johan Djourou Étoile Carouge Defender Free 01 Aug 2003
Thierry Henry Juventus Forward £10,500,000 03 Aug 1999
Davor Šuker Real Madrid Forward Free 02 Aug 1999
Narada Bernard Tottenham Defender Free 07 Aug 1999
Nelson Vivas AC Lugano Defender £1,600,000 05 Aug 1998
Christopher Wreh Monaco Forward £300,000 07 Aug 1997
Patrick Vieira AC Milan Midfielder £3,500,000 14 Aug 1996
Rémi Garde Strasbourg Midfielder Free 14 Aug 1996

Clearly, Arsene Wenger likes to get the business done before and after the build up to the season. So, I wouldn’t expect a signing between now and the start of this season. That echoes Wenger’s own comments after the win over the MLS All Stars when he said,

“I’m more focused now on preparing for the season, because we are at July 29 and start on August 14. We have a very short time to prepare now, so my focus is on my players.”

Despite his focus on work, if he finds the right player at the right price history shows he will take a few minutes away from team preparations to whip out a pen and paper. Just don’t expect him to be “working day and night” on transfers for the next two weeks.

Qq

34 Comments on How many players has Arsene Wenger signed between Aug.1st and 14th?

  1. Tim.

    Did you put this article up only as a response to the previous one? Man, I wasn’t even disagreeing with what you were saying. Merely pointing out that the quote you gave came in response to a different question.

    On this effort, grand as it is. I think we also need to consider that there was no transfer window till 2002. Not that it changes the thrust of your argument. Again, just something to note.

    • Probably not either, but definitely not Mahrez. Of the traditional ‘top four’ clubs in England, Arsenal have the lowest transfer I.Q. Striker? What is a striker? How do we buy one? Who is better, Walcott or Mahrez? Maybe Walcott is better? Such questions bamboozle Arsenal every single day.

  2. i think it’s foolish to not have your team signed before pre-season starts. if you intend to sign someone, it should give them time to move their families, find a place, get settled, etc. and then go on tour with the team in the pre-season. that’s when much of the team building happens, especially with new guy integration. i’m not saying stop the search or not be aware of opportunistic chances to sign players but i would feel better if pre-season started with all the new players getting to know the team.

  3. absolutely love that pic, tim. i still remember my initial reaction to that image. the site of henry standing next to wenger holding an arsenal jersey made me scream like a little girl. i’m glad no one was at home but me.

    that picture is one of my happiest memories as an arsenal fan. i was smiling all day and couldn’t wait to tell every soccer person i knew that arsenal had just signed a full-blooded jedi knight. what’s more to the point of the thread, i don’t think it was even a full two weeks after anelka went to real madrid when arsenal signed henry. the club used to get this stuff done quickly. all the talk about waiting until the end of the transfer window is troublesome to me. in fairness, i don’t know if arsenal already had the henry deal in the works but who can actually say they missed anelka? that’s how arsenal used to get things done. i miss the good ole days.

    • There was no window in those days. I swear, this transfer window system was introduced just as a way for agents to make more money (and hence the kickbacks). It is an artificially created time limit, which also forces clubs to buy more players than they need, and the damn thing doesn’t even coincide with the start of the season.

      If you want to slow down the flow of money out of the game, as many stakeholders claim to, end the transfer window system. Agents will no longer be able to hold clubs over a barrel, and transfers can stop being an obsession with everyone annually (while still allowing transfer talk to continue throughout the season. so yay!)

      • agreed, there was no transfer window then but the timing of the transfer was indicative of how proactive arsenal were. they didn’t mess around. when overmars left, pires came in. when anelka left, henry. when suker left, arsenal bought wiltord. the list goes on. it was “the arsenal way”.

        when did it change? i don’t really know. when dein left? when arsenal left highbury? did wenger get tired of losing his best academy products? i just think it’s silly not having a complete team that you know are capable of winning the championship when pre-season begins.

        as for wenger not buying during this period, it’s a very important period and, as manager, he’s got bigger fish to fry. ctpa keeps using the term ‘delegate’. that’s absolutely right. wenger can’t do everything alone; not efficiently.

        it looks like your boy, ben yedder just signed for sevilla.

        • No transfer window means there’s no incentive for the selling club to hold on too. No need to wait in the hope of a better price.

          Maybe Arsenal were more proactive. I don’t know. But the circumstances were different too.

  4. Napoli’s bid for Icardi is reportedly now at €55 mil. What is Inter’s resolve now that they know Napoli has the Higuain money burning a hole in their pocket. We were never going to go there (to paraphrase Feist).

  5. I really like this policy of Wenger. If players arrive before Aug 1, they atleast have some time to get integrated and fit, and might start GW1.

    Anyone coming in after Aug 1, will take time to settle in and miss the first few games in all probability. In that case, it makes no sense to rush a transfer, as waiting on it till the last week or two might shave millions off the fee, or even potentially a better solution might come up to due to the domino effect of last week transfers across the continent.

    As for 200 million in the bank, and risk-averse blah blah .. wait a minute.
    Do you know Man United make 200 million more than Arsenal per season?
    I repeat, every YEAR Man U make 200 mill more than us.

    Isn’t what Gazidis is saying correct? We cannot afford big flops as much as the other big clubs. We can pay wages like them now, we can pay fees like now, but unless we up our economic game considerably, we CANNOT gamble like that every year.

    • Manchester United’s turnover last year was £395m. Arsenal’s was third highest in the League, £345m.

      I just did the maths. That’s £50m more. Not £200m more.

      There is some speculation that United could approach £500m soon. At the same time, I expect Arsenal to top £400m.

      At the rate that we earn money as a club we can afford a few flops.

      • I’m surprised at that number .. i remember it being higher .. is this the 50 mill missing from cl participation or something? 100 mill net per year is still nothing to sniff at give our 200 mill ‘cash reserves’ .. this income stuff adds up over seasons ..like, if there is any reason we get out the CL, we are going to have to supplement our inflated spending on wages from those very same reserves . Buying doesn’t guarantee that – ask man u and chelsea ..

        Your point stands though and the fact is we badly need some depth in attacking positions now, and are gambling with the beginning of our season as well.

        • Our club barely makes any profits, and remains in green with players sales (roughly, iirc). 20 mill per year payment stadium dues, some 20 mill per year inflation in wages, and possible 20 mill per year loss ..

          I don’t know man, I’m with Wenger on playing it safe in the transfer market and maximizing your potential on the pitch with what you have. I’m just not sold on the whole ‘we have money now’ thing. Yeah we do, we already spending boats of it on increased wages for our growing number of star players, and on net transfer spending (Do you see us making any money off player sales?). transfers are the most visible form of improving your team, and also the least effective.

          Sorry for the spam, but I don’t really think this squad needs any surgery, I just think they need to play better individually and as a unit, and Wenger should be grilled on that rather than anything else.

  6. I really like this policy of Wenger. If players arrive before Aug 1, they atleast have some time to get integrated and fit, and might start GW1.

    Anyone coming in after Aug 1, will take time to settle in and miss the first few games in all probability. In that case, it makes no sense to rush a transfer, as waiting on it till the last week or two might shave millions off the fee, or even potentially a better solution might come up to due to the domino effect of last week transfers across the continent.

    As for 200 million in the bank, and risk-averse blah blah .. wait a minute.
    Do you know Man United make 200 million more than Arsenal per season?
    I repeat, every YEAR Man U make 200 mill more than us.

    Isn’t what Gazidis is saying correct? We cannot afford big flops as much as the other big clubs. We can pay wages like them now, we can pay fees like now, but unless we up our economic game considerably, we CANNOT gamble like that every year.

  7. That’s very interesting. I’m surprised the number is so small. I suppose one small glimmer of light is that, as the recent purchase of Santi shows, is that he is willing to get a transfer done in the right circumstances.

  8. Looks like your man Ben Yedder is going to Seville Shard. 🙁

    I see Jesse Rodriguez is the latest forward to be linked with Arsenal. Seems like Real are willing to let go. Is he any good though?

  9. Is this true of Arsenal or transfers in general that less business seems to get done in the middle of the transfer window? It seems to me that some deals get done early in the window because all four parties (buying team, selling team, player, and agent) have been negotiating prior to the opening of the window and are happy with the terms. Granit Xhaka’s deal comes to mind.

    Then there are proposed deals in which one or more of the parties aren’t happy with the terms. Player and buying team want to get together but the selling team doesn’t want to sell, at least at the proposed price. Player wants to leave for a certain club and selling club agree but agent wants to steer the deal towards a club that will pay him better, et cetera. These deals need the pressure of a deadline to get the recalcitrant party to compromise and will happen towards the end of the window. I would theorize that it isn’t just Arsenal which seems to have a lull in transfer business. That the middle of the transfer window also coincides with the start of preseason may simply be coincidence and not the reason for this lull.

    I will say that Wenger seems much more price conscious than other managers and is unwilling to pay any type of premium to get a player early. Driving the transfer fee as low as possible by using deadline pressure may make fiscal sense but makes no sense from a footballing perspective. Getting a player in early to integrate him into the squad is much better from a team perspective but you probably have to pay a higher transfer fee in order to do that. Wenger basically gambles on losing points early in the season due to having an incomplete squad in order to minimize transfer fees. Great if you want to enhance the financial prospectus, not so great if you’re actually trying to win the league.

  10. No signings because the start of the pre season kind of make sense, what is hard to understand its why havent we already signed a striker before that. That was priority number one. Granted, now i understand that signing a Higuain, Benzema or Aubemayang wasnt going to happen but once you adjust your expectations to a more affordable option there were other options that are no longer available. For example someone like Gameiro, now gone to Atletico, would have been a solid addition. If we arent going to pay 40M for Lacassette then i asume Morata, Icardi and Lukaku are out of the question too. So, what are the options left?

  11. Worth also mentioning that we have a team who work on transfers, Arsene has referred to this a couple of times when getting grilled in press conferences. Remember the last world cup when Arsene was getting it in the neck for being on the beach only for the club to sign Alexis, Debuchy and Chambers I think.

    It would be interesting to see a comparison with other clubs during that period. It looks like the window is often broken down into sections. Buy early, bits and pieces the middle and mad rush at the end.

    Still convinced we will see two more signings this window. Feel pretty relaxed about it all.

  12. Not sure why everyone is praising Bielik’s performance. Wasn’t it his errant pass to nowhere that led to drogba’s goal? He has the right body type and is clearly strong (potential there) but he seems to have a few bad errant passed every game, including last seasons league cup appearances and youth games. He is not particularly accurate, especially on forward balls through the middle. Holding was so much better and bailed him out a few times. I think a holding chambers combo could be a pair that could last a decade, especially if they are playing together nationally. Super excited about that.

  13. Addressing your known, glaring weaknesses and being financially prudent and sensible is a false choice. You can do both, given our spending power.

    We’ve had 4 years since Ven Persie left, and essentially have no excuses for not upgrading in that time. How clever does an offer to 1 GBP over Suarez’ 40m price look now? Or refusing to pay 31m for Higuain?

    You simply have to be prepared to change tack and change strategy. I advocated for Ibrahimovic (or a Cavani) long before it was known that he’d be coming to the premiership, because a short-term deal of that kind on a free transfer makes sense in an overheated market short on quality. It allows you buy, bring through and develop promise in the 2 years you’ll get out of Zlatan. Uncover your own gem. Allow Akpom or Sanogo or someone we would buy to work with him. I’m not saying he definitely would have come — I’m simply citing a strategy that could work for us for the coming season

    We have brought back players when we didn’t have to work hard to do so — Henry, Campbell, Flamini returned to train and didn’t leave.

    All that said, I loved the positive intent shown by the move for Vardy. We need to get something over the line soon.

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