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Arsenal’s underachievement laid bare by updated squad valuations

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Arsenal’s underachievement laid bare by updated squad valuations

Arsenal in the top seven for squad valuation

The aftermath of the summer transfer window is always a mix of joy and frustration as countless reflect upon the business conducted by the club nearest and dearest to them. In what was an expected summer that saw the Premier League remain streets ahead of every other top league in Europe, Arsenal and their leading figure of ~£140million spent on summer signings highlighted the club’s intention to try to get back on track on the domestic front.

Arsenal’s underachievement laid bare by updated squad valuations

Arsenal’s English defender Ben White during the pre-season friendly football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at The Emirates Sadium in north London on August 1, 2021. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Moving past the transfer window, some supporters may find comfort in the notion that Arsenal is sitting seventh in the table regarding squad value.

Per Transfermarkt, the Gunners are comfortably 7th behind the expected who’s-who ahead of them; Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Leicester City.

Many will be frustrated at the notion that Arsenal is behind their fiercest rival or a relative recent upstart in Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes, but it does show that the squad is perhaps better than many wanted to admit.

Though the desire inside the Gunnersphere for the club to get back amongst the elite in the English game runs deep, the club is not there at the minute; a notion that was remarked on by Arsenal Chief Executive Vinai Venkatesham in his open letter to club staff after the conclusion of the transfer window.

But what many are left justifiably worried over is how poorly the club has started the 2021-22 Premier League campaign during a season that – for many – must end with at least a top-seven finish and a chance at some semblance for European football next term.

Mikel Arteta underachieving with a squad of considerable value

While the valuation of the Arsenal squad in its current iteration may well be encouraging, it can also be levied as proof-positive that Mikel Arteta is hardly doing enough with it.

There was hardly the need for further proof, however, as the Gunners currently sit bottom of the Premier League while having failed to score a single goal in their opening three fixtures, including an abysmal 5-0 drubbing against Manchester City that saw them register just one shot in 90-minutes.

Arsenal’s underachievement laid bare by updated squad valuations

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 06: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Europa League Semi-final Second Leg match between Arsenal and Villareal CF at Emirates Stadium on May 06, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

How a club performs in the league (and where they finish in the table) is, of course, far more nuanced than how the squad is monetarily valued, but it does offer a certain scope to suggest that value indicates an inherent level of quality that can be brought to bear technically and tactically.

After that, matters fall squarely on the manager, especially one in Arteta’s position who – it can be argued – now has a collective squad that is very close to being in his image. Despite that, the Gunners slumped to a humbling 2-0 opening day defeat to newly-promoted Brentford, while allowing a combined seven goals against Chelsea and City, while failing to be a consistent threat in any of the three fixtures to date.

Yes, there were mitigating circumstances behind the results, particularly Granit Xhaka’s red card against the champions, or the absences of key members of the squad, but there is little identity in the team on the pitch despite Arteta’s time at the club.

Without an ethos that comes from the manager, one that can be used to guide you through difficult periods on the pitch, there is no amount of spending or squad valuation that can arrest concerns about the state that Arsenal finds itself in at the moment.

Though the season is still in its opening stages and plenty of time left for the club to get back on track in the Premier League, many will still be left wondering whether or not Arteta is the man to get the Gunners back to where they belong.

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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