After a poor 2020-21 campaign, Arsenal have been busy in the transfer market and have already made additions to their squad.
Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares, Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and English centre-back Ben White have all joined the club. There will surely be some outgoings as well, with the likes of Willian and Reiss Nelson likely to leave the Gunners.
Manager Mikel Arteta will be under immense pressure after poor performances throughout last season. Money is being spent by the club to reinforce the squad, and a repeat of last season will not be well received.
We look at the 5 most expensive Arsenal signings of all time.
#5 Thomas Partey | €50 million
Thomas Partey's signing was heralded as one of Arsenal's best business deals in recent years when he joined the club from Atletico Madrid last summer.
Arsenal activated his €50 million release clause to lure him away from Spain, and much was expected from the Ghana international. Partey had produced some top performances for Diego Simeone's side, and his defensive nous and overall quality were seen as an important addition to Arsenal's midfield.
However, Partey did not enjoy a good 2020-21 campaign. The 28-year old made just 18 starts in the Premier League for Arsenal, with injuries preventing him from having a major impact. There were moments when Partey displayed his talents, but last season was a disappointing one for the player and the club.
Manager Mikel Arteta will be hoping that he has a fit Partey to work with next season. The midfielder will likely start for Arsenal on a regular basis during the 2021-22 campaign, and given that the club have invested heavily in him they will be hoping for a solid return.
#4 Alexandre Lacazette | €53 million
After a move to Atletico Madrid fell through in 2017, Alexandre Lacazette was signed by Arsenal for a €53 million from Lyon.
Olivier Giroud had done well with the Gunners, but Lacazette was regarded as an upgrade over his countryman. A versatile attacker, the France international had been a prolific goalscorer at Lyon and was seen as the ideal player to provide a different dimension to Arsenal's attack.
Lacazette has done well over the years with Arsenal, without truly shining. The 30-year old has made 170 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 65 goals and providing 28 assists. The arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reduced the goalscoring burden on Lacazette, who has been utilised in a variety of attacking positions by Arteta as a result.
The forward could leave the club soon, with his contract expiring next year. Atletico Madrid have once again been linked with a move. Arsenal, who have shown a proclivity for letting go of players on free transfers in the past, will be keen to ensure that they get some money for Lacazette.
#3 Ben White | €58 million
Arsenal's latest recruit, eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that the club was paying €58 million to sign Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion.
White is, by all accounts, a talented centre-back. Comfortable on the ball and a good reader of the game, the England international clearly has the tools to become one of the best in the Premier League, and he should do well at his new club.
However, Arsenal have other problems to solve in their squad and spending €58 million on a new centre-back after letting William Saliba go on loan once again has been met with surprise. White is likely to start alongside Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-back, but Saliba's future is once again a source of heavy discussion as a result.
White is a versatile player who operated at right-back and in defensive midfield last season for the Seagulls. The 23-year old was included in England's squad for Euro 2020, and it would not be shocking to see him start for his country in the near future.
#2 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | €63.8 million
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not come cheap, but the striker has had an excellent impact at Arsenal.
Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, and scored on his debut. The Gabon international did not look back after that and has enjoyed two full seasons of elite production at the club. He scored 22 league goals in the 2018-19, as well as the 2019-20 season, and won the Premier League Golden Boot for the former campaign.
The former Saint-Etienne man has made 148 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 85 goals and providing 19 assists. However, he was disappointing last season, scoring only 10 league goals for Mikel Arteta's side.
The 32-year old signed a new contract last September, and this deal has the potential to become an albatross around Arsenal's neck. Aubameyang is a player who relies on his pace, and with the forward now in his 30s, there is a fear that last season's poor performances were not a one-off.
Mesut Ozil's new contract caused Arsenal huge problems and Aubayemang will be keen to ensure he remains Arsenal's main man.
#1 Nicolas Pepe | €80 million
It was evident the moment the fee was announced that Arsenal had overpaid for Nicolas Pepe.
The winger joined Arsenal from Lille in 2019. While Arsenal had indeed paid a lot for Pepe, the Ivory Coast international's 2018-19 season with the Ligue 1 giants was a big source of optimism. He was expected to provide creativity, dribbling and a goal threat from out wide.
Pepe has had his moments with Arsenal, but has done little to suggest that it was prudent to spend €80 million on him. He made just 16 starts in the Premier League last season but did score 10 goals, and Arsenal fans will be hoping that the 26-year old justifies the expenditure sooner rather than later.
The heavily-ostracised Willian started 16 games in the Premier League for Arsenal last season, and Pepe's job is clear. The winger needs to be more consistent with his performances and grab his chances as and when they appear.
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