A recurring theme for Arsenal over the past year or so has been bringing down their wage bill.
Last January saw the Gunners announce as many as three mutual contract terminations which allowed Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi to become free agents before sealing moves to Olympiacos, Fenerbahce and Schalke respectively.
Then in the summer transfer window, Willian agreed to terminate the remaining two years of his contract at the Emirates Stadium – walking away from £20million in the process – to complete a return to boyhood club Corinthians.
And Arsenal continued that trend this month with Sead Kolasinac prior to him sealing a free transfer to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.
The Bosnia international’s exit coupled with Calum Chambers joining Aston Villa as well as Ainsley Maitland-Niles (AS Roma), Pablo Mari (Udinese) and Folarin Balogun (Middlesbrough) leaving on loan has allowed the north London outfit to save over £9million in wages.
As per Spotrac, back in November Arsenal were spending £99.8million on player wages this season but following five first-team departures this month – albeit three being temporary – that figure now stands at £90million.
And it could decrease further before the January transfer window closes as two more exits could go through.
As former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the highest-paid player at the club on £250,000-per-week, is out of favour under Mikel Arteta and linked with an exit ahead of Monday’s deadline, if a team was to cover a portion of his wages, if not, all then the Gunners reduce their wage bill once again.
The same applies if Eddie Nketiah, who is reportedly closing in on a move to Newcastle United, leaves five months before his contract was due to expire.
With that said, there are several other deals in the pipeline that will have even more of an impact on the club’s finances.
Alexandre Lacazette being the third highest-paid player is significant because the Frenchman is expected to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season which means Arsenal will save an annual salary of £9.4million from July 1, 2022.
Although, he isn’t the only first-team player set to move on in June as Mohamed Elneny is also in the same boat and is not expected to be at the club when the 2022/23 season starts.
Therefore, the Gunners will save a further £2.7million based on his annual salary.
And it gets even better for Arsenal as Football Audit understands that a £12million windfall is on the way with Matteo Guendouzi and Dinos Mavropanos expected to permanently join Marseille and Stuttgart respectively at the end of the season.
Getting the pair off the wage bill would then allow Arsenal to save a further £3.3million on wages.
Bernd Leno is another player whose future will be decided in the summer.
Football Audit understands that as of now, the Germany international will see out the season as the Gunners’ established number two but he does want to move on after losing his place to Aaron Ramsdale.
With Arsenal agreeing a deal to sign a replacement goalkeeper in Matt Turner, it’s not yet known what his weekly wage will be when he completes his initial £4.5million transfer in the summer.
But Leno’s departure will enable Arsenal to save £5.2million based on his annual salary.
So if, as expected, the aforementioned five players all leave in the summer then the Gunners would be in a position to save a yearly sum of £21.6million which could possibly fund moves for a couple of incomings.
Amid links to the likes of Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Youri Tielemans, Arsenal have made great progress in the past year with bringing their wage bill down which can only help towards future investment in the first-team squad.