Arsenal Chief Sanllehi Explains Welbeck, Ramsey Exits

Arsenal Duo Leave On Free Transfers

Danny Welbeck Arsenal transfer news
Image: Kirill Venediktov

Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has explained why the club have allowed Danny Welbeck to leave on a free transfer.

The England international striker will leave the Emirates when his contract formally expires at the end of next month. It will bring to an end an injury-hit five years at the club that effectively ended in November when he picked up an ankle injury in the Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon.

Speaking to the official Arsenal website Sanhelli said:

“In ways it is quite similar to the Aaron [Ramsey] situation. This summer we were in talks with him to see if [he would stay or go], he had several offers, he decided to continue in the club until the end of the contract. We respected that. We knew that he was going to add a lot to the club over the last year, but again, we were in the last year of contract so it was a very similar situation.”

He added that Welbeck’s injury was the risk a club takes going into the final year of a player’s contract.

“You have all the upsides on the strength that you have to negotiate a new contract elsewhere, but the risk that you’re running is getting an injury on your last year, yes.”

Sanllehi also explained the circumstances behind Aaron Ramsey’s departure for Juventus. It had been claimed that Arsenal had made an offer to the Wales international which was then withdrawn by the club. Sanllehi insisted that the move was down to Juve being able to offer a fantastic wage to Ramsey as they weren’t paying a transfer fee.

“For circumstances, whatever it was, we went to the last year of contract. That’s a problem.

“When you go to the last year of contract of a player because of the way this is designed, there are a lot of clubs who can get that player for free.

“Now, that player has a market value. A strong market value, in Aaron’s case. So, any club can project… the total investment of a player is always an addition of two factors: the salary you are going to pay him and the transfer fee you are going to pay for him.

“Now if you take out one of those two, and with Aaron arriving to the last year of contract, one of them was pretty much zero, you can really build up on the other one very, very much.

“Now, we have to be responsible on how we manage the club. One of the key things for me – and I’ve seen that happening in other clubs – one of the key things is to keep the rationality in the salary balance of the team.

“Because of our circumstances, because of not renewing Aaron on time we were in a situation in which Aaron had incredible offers building up on the salary. He was really keen on staying with us, he was ready to make the effort but at the end of the whole process we had to be responsible for ourselves and protect the interests of Arsenal.

 “We realised we were going to cause an imbalance that would have been very harmful for the team’s sake in the medium and longer term.”