Arsenal were once a massive club in the Premier League but over time their reputation has taken a hit. Especially after Arsene Wenger's retirement, the club has seen a good amount of downfall.
With the Gunners failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League lately, it has been damaging to them in several ways. Not playing in Europe combined with a lack of silverware has hampered their pulling power significantly in the past few years.
Arsenal have struggled in the last decade
Many of Arsenal's finest players have opted to leave the club because of their struggles to win trophies. Because of this, the North London club have never been able to fully maintain a squad with their best players.
That being said, the Gunners have capitalized decently on when the time has come to sell their players. Without further ado, let's take a look at their most profitable transfers so far.
Note: All values are as per Transfermarkt
#5 Emmanuel Adebayor
Monaco and Arsenal have done quite some business together when it comes to transfers of footballers. One of them was Emmanuel Adebayor when he joined the Premier League club in 2006 for a fee of £9 million.
The Togolese striker took some time to settle but once he did, he turned out to be quite productive for the Gunners. In his four seasons with the London club, he scored 46 goals in 104 Premier League appearances. For his impressive performance in 2008, he was named the African Player of the Year.
Emmanuel Adebayor decided to join rivals Manchester City in 2009. The transfer fee cost £26.10 million, resulting in a profit of £17.10 million for the Gunners.
#4 Marc Overmars
Marc Overmars was a shrewd signing done under the management of Arsene Wenger. The Dutchman signed for Arsenal from Ajax in the summer of 1997 for a fee of £6.75 million.
Overmars received some criticism in his early days but Arsene Wenger played a major role in defending him. The Dutch winger time and again made important contributions in attack. In his 100 Premier League appearances, he contributed 44 goals for the Gunners.
In 2000, Barcelona expressed interest in Overmars and the Dutchman equally obliged. The transfer deal cost a fee of £26.37 million, making a profit of £19.62 million for Arsenal.
#3 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The transfer fee involved a fee of £12.42 million for the Gunners. With his incredible pace, fast foot-work and creativity, Oxlade-Chamberlain could have achieved big things but struggled with consistency and injuries. Over time, his game-time took a hit, which is when he decided to move away from London.
Liverpool were behind his signature and were successful in getting the Englishman in 2017 for a fee of £34.20 million. This helped Arsenal make a profit of £21.78 million on Oxlade-Chamberlain.
#2 Robin Van Persie
The Dutchman is arguably one of the best forwards to have played for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. Robin Van Persie was signed from Feyenoord for a fee of £4.05 million in 2004.
Under the guidance and management of Arsene Wenger, the Dutchman had grown into one of the best strikers in the Premier League. Using his sweet left-foot, amazing technique and wonderful positioning, Robin Van Persie was very difficult to contain in the box. In his eight seasons with the Gunners, he scored 96 goals in 194 league appearances.
Over time, winning silverware became tricky at Arsenal, which instigated Robin Van Persie to leave and join Manchester United in the summer of 2012. It was shocking given the rivalry between the two clubs but given the player's demands, it was unstoppable. The transfer fee involved was £27.63 million, resulting in a profit of £23.58 million for the London club.
#1 Nicolas Anelka
Arsene Wenger had assembled some quality French players during his time at Arsenal. One of them was Nicolas Anelka, who was signed from Paris Saint-Germain in 1997 for a fee of £684k.
In his full two seasons with the club, the Frenchman had become one of the key players for the Gunners. With his close control of the ball, awareness and clinical finishing, Anelka was very productive in front of goal. He scored 23 goals in 65 league appearances at the time, winning the Premier League in the 1997-98 season.
He also won the PFA Young Player of the Year award the following season, after which he decided to join Real Madrid. Anelka signed for Los Blancos in 1999 for a transfer fee of £31.50 million, meaning the Gunners made a profit of £30.82 million from the young French striker.