With the final weeks of the transfer window nearing, let us stop worrying about the players who will be joining Arsenal and look at those who were supposed to leave the Emirates.
Arsenal’s self-sustainable business model is a paradox in that it is the envy of clubs home and abroad, drew record pre-tax profits of £56 million in their last full set of accounts yet it renders them uncompetitive in comparison with the cream of Europe.
A common misconception is that transfer fees are the biggest drain on a club’s resources.
At Arsenal, salaries are nearly three times more costly. However, Chelsea, the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool all have higher wage bills than Arsenal and are able to offer the kind of salaries that the North Londoners, who maintain wages at around 50 percent of turnover, are either unwilling or unable to.
Last season, Cesc Fabregas was the highest-paid Arsenal player with a salary of around £110,000 per week while Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres were each paid above £170,000 per week.
While Arsenal's wage bill is still less than the other top clubs, the reason for it being so high is the presence of many fringe players who get pay parity with good players in the club.
Last season, Samir Nasri got £60,000 per week and was offered a contract worth £90,000 a week, which he turned down.
In the same season, Denilson (who played 20 matches) and Abou Diaby (who played 17 matches) were offered £60,000 per week each while Manuel Almunia (who played 13 matches) was offered £50,000 per week.
Arsene Wenger's willingness to hand out such generous contracts to Almunia, Diaby and Denilson has skewed the wage bill in favour of players who have failed to cut the mustard at the expense of those who have.
Abou Diaby has been injury prone for a long time, and he even missed out on the team's preseason matches. If Diaby is unable to play for more than half the season and under-performs in the remaining half of the season, then why should he get £60,000 per week?
If Diaby was paid £30,000 a week rather than £60,000 a week, then they might be able to give Nasri what he feels he deserves.
Denilson had a frustrating 2010-2011 season; although he was statistically impressive, he turned many Arsenal supporters against him due to lacklustre performances when filling in for Alex Song in midfield. He does not seem to be a problem anymore, as he has been loaned out to Sao Paulo.
With the emergence of Wojciech Szczesny backed by Lukas Fabianski, Manuel Almunia is unable to get to the bench of the Arsenal team. He was not named in the preseason squad as he was left behind, so that he can listen to offers from other clubs. He has not even made the bench against Newcastle United and Udinese this season.
Paying £50,000 per week for him is also unjustified.
Almunia has yet to find a club, as there seem to be no takers for him. If I were the manager, I would have let him go for free!
Apart from these players, Nicklas Bendtner had requested a transfer away from the Emirates. As the transfer window comes to an end, it is to be seen whether he will stay at Arsenal or not.
Sebastien Squillaci has been a flop in his first season and has gone down the pecking order in the list of defenders. If (a BIG If) Wenger buys a new center-back, Squillaci's appearances will be even more limited and his wages will also be considered as down the drain.
Furthermore, there are strong doubts within the club whether a single player among the 16 who went out on loan last season will eventually become a regular first-teamer, which means a part of the wage bill is unproductive.
Supporters who pay through the nose for the most expensive season ticket in world football—prices range from £985 to £1,995 for the rank-and-file—have also been hit with a 6.5 percent rise this summer that will pour £4.5 million more into the club’s bank account. It is not correct that a part of their money is wasted for unwanted players.
It is time for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger to sell unwanted, unfit players and check if their youth system is really successful as compared to other clubs.