Perhaps no team in the Premier League is scrutinised more than Arsenal for their transfer activity. It’s become an open forum for fans of other clubs to mock the north Londoners for their spending.
It could be for good reason, too, as the history books show the Gunners don’t have a successful track record in winning trophies immediately after breaking their club transfer record.
Arsene Wenger’s side broke the bank to recruit the £45 million striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon this summer. A deal that could rise to £52 million and splashes past Mesut Ozil’s; whose £38.5 million move from Real Madrid in 2013 previously held the record.
While the Gunners have signed their fair share of players of £20 million or £30 million and above in recent years, Ozil and Lacazette are only two of the four players to have busted Arsenal’s transfer record this century.
Arsenal’s Record Breakers
Granted, previous record-breakers such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Sylvain Wiltord in particular have come to share great success with the club. Notably all featuring in the ‘Invincibles’ team that ran to rampant success in 2003-04.
However, not even those arrivals yielded instant success in north London. The Gunners’ fans had to wait before the trophies started coming in.
In fact, only one of the past six club-record transfers, Ozil, was fortunate enough to win a trophy in his first season with the club. They made it to Wembley and clinched the 2013-14 FA Cup.
This means that of the 24 major trophies up for grabs in those six seasons, including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup, the Gunners won only one. This equal to only 4.2% of the silverware on offer.
The club hasn’t been without its success in those years though. They have won a total of 12 major trophies since Ian Wright joined from Crystal Palace for a then-record fee of £2.5 million. This means that in the 26 seasons since he became a Gunner, the club has won on average 0.46 trophies per campaign. Just under one every two seasons.
Taking that figure into account, one can see just how disparaging the success rate looks in years when the club has broken its transfer record in comparison. The numbers suggest Wenger’s side is about 10 times less likely to win a trophy this season compared to the average success of the past 26 seasons.
The club will compete for the UEFA Europa League crown this season rather than the Champions League. Furthermore, four titles are still available, the question is whether Arsenal can make a more convincing run for them.
Even with four competitions on their plate, Arsenal may need to concentrate fire on one or two in particular if they’re to reward Lacazette with titles in his debut term.
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