Arsenal's most expensive signings ever

  • Arsenal have splashed the cash with varying success over the years
  • Declan Rice shattered the club's record fee when he arrived in the summer of 2023
  • Nicolas Pepe, the previous record holder, always struggled to live up to his price tag
Declan Rice became the most expensive British player in history when he signed for Arsenal in 2023
Declan Rice became the most expensive British player in history when he signed for Arsenal in 2023 / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Despite embarking on a slow decline that culminated in outright toxicity following their Invincibles triumph and subsequent move to the Emirates in 2006, Arsenal still had the knack for snagging elite talent.

The club's stadium switch tightened the purse strings for a while on the transfer front and the Gunners haven't been able to spend at a rate comparable to their contemporary rivals.

Nevertheless, the Kroenkes aren't exactly strapped for cash and the club has frequently smashed its own transfer record since KSE took ownership in 2011.

Here are the ten most expensive signings in Arsenal's history.

10. Jurrien Timber (£40m from Ajax)

As a child, Timber and his twin brother Quinten opted for Feyenoord's youth team over the Ajax equivalent because the former provided transportation to training.

Logistics were presumably not at the forefront of Jurrien's decision to join Arsenal in the summer of 2023, moving out of the room which he still shared with his brother in their parent's home to team up with the capital outfit.

9. Mesut Ozil (£42.4m from Real Madrid)

Mesut Ozil
Ozil joined the club to much fanfare in 2013 / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

There isn't a signing in Arsenal's history that generated as much buzz as Ozil's arrival at the end of the 2013 summer transfer window. Life was sweet for Gooners over that brief period.

After beating Tottenham 1-0 in the north London derby on 1 September, the Gunners announced the addition of the Real Madrid playmaker the following day. Ozil arrived with a lofty reputation and certainly didn't disappoint supporters.

His first few years at the club were sensational and he came close to breaking Thierry Henry's single-season assist record in 2015/16, but tactical evolution rendered him surplus to requirements by the time Arteta took charge.

8. Gabriel Jesus (£45m from Man City)

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus enjoyed an impressive debut season at the Emirates / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Arsenal's morphing into Manchester City lite started with the addition of Gabriel Jesus in 2022.

The Brazilian had played an under-the-radar role in the club's success under Pep Guardiola and opted for a new challenge in the form of the emerging Gunners.

Jesus' immediate impact was transformative as he started 2022/23 like a house on fire before slowing down ahead of the World Cup. A knee injury sustained in Qatar hampered the remainder of his debut season, but Jesus showed enough to suggest he has a key role to play in Arteta's project moving forward.

7. Thomas Partey (£45.3m from Atletico Madrid)

Thomas Partey
Partey has played an important role in the club's rise under Mikel Arteta / Octavio Passos/GettyImages

Arsenal had no Champions League football to offer Partey when he signed in 2020, depicting the club's historical pull despite their modern issues.

The Ghanaian was the first major coup of Arteta's tenure and while injuries have compromised the player's time in north London, there's no denying Partey's influence on this Arsenal team and the role he's played in the club's rise.

The Gunners' 2021/22 season faltered down the stretch in his absence and they were at their best during the first half of 2022/23 with a fit and firing Partey at the base of midfield.

6. Alexandre Lacazette (£46.5m from Lyon)

Alexandre Lacazette
Lacazette was the club's record-signing for a brief period / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Wenger turned to his homeland in search of a new marksman heading into what would be his final season in charge. The Gunners stumbled upon Lyon hitman Lacazette and made him their record signing in 2017.

However, the forward's athletic limitations and profligacy in front of goal frustrated supporters, and while he consistently hit double-digit scoring tallies in the Premier League, he never scored more than 14 in a single season.

While Lacazette had some wonderful moments in an Arsenal shirt and was a serviceable option throughout his time at the club, he didn't turn out to be the ruthless goalscorer Arsenal thought they were signing.

5. Ben White (£50m from Brighton)

Ben White
White is a fan favourite in north London / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

KSE are intent on the Arteta project proving successful and they've backed their Spanish boss with funds in recent windows.

Some of the club's signings under Arteta and Edu Gaspar have raised eyebrows and the cash splashed to sign White from Brighton was questioned by many.

Nevertheless, White has proven to be an excellent addition since joining at the start of the 2021/22 campaign. The silky defender impressed during his debut season before reaching new heights in a seemingly unfamiliar right-back position in 2022/23.

The technically-gifted defender has quickly blossomed into a fan favourite in north London, with his carefree and laid-back persona enamouring many.

4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£56m from Borussia Dortmund)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang enjoyed several productive years at Arsenal / Visionhaus/GettyImages

After signing Lacazette to a record-breaking deal ahead of the 2017/18 season, Arsenal pulled a rabbit out of the hat midway through the campaign by bringing in Borussia Dortmund star Aubameyang for £56m.

The Gabonese forward had scored at an alarming rate in Germany and it didn't take long for the striker to usurp Lacazette as Arsenal's leading marksman.

Aubameyang starred for the Gunners and was eventually named club captain, scoring 92 goals in 163 games. However, his once strong relationship with Arteta soured and he departed in rather acrimonious fashion midway through the 2021/22 season.

3. Kai Havertz (£65m from Chelsea)

Kai Havertz's three seasons at Chelsea didn't entirely explain why Arsenal were convinced to part ways with £65m in 2023. The German proved to be a player of monuments rather than milestones.

Havertz will forever go down as the match-winner from the 2021 Champions League final against Manchester City but he only scored 19 Premier League goals for the Blues - a tally 38 different players could better over the same time period.

2. Nicolas Pepe (£72m from Lille)

Nicolas Pepe
Pepe never settled at the club after arriving for a record-breaking fee / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Very few on the red side of north London batted an eyelid when the club splurged a mammoth £72m to sign Pepe from Lille in 2019. The dynamic Ivorian winger scored 22 Ligue 1 goals the season prior and the excitement was palpable among Gooners regarding their shiny new toy.

Pepe, however, never lived up to his price tag.

The winger wasn't a complete bust and certainly flashed his talent during his debut season in north London, but the arrival of Arteta spelled trouble for the club-record signing.

Inefficiency in the final third and a lack of defensive astuteness saw Bukayo Saka soar past Pepe in the depth chart, and after he spent the 2022/23 season on loan at Nice, it's likely we've already see the last of Pepe in an Arsenal shirt.

He'll end his career in north London with 27 goals and 21 assists in 112 games.

1. Declan Rice (£105m from West Ham)

It took the best part of two interminable weeks for Declan Rice's transfer to Arsenal to be made official. West Ham managed to squeeze a guaranteed £100m out of the Gunners for their captain, making Rice the most expensive British player in the history of the sport and Arsenal's costliest acquisition of any nationality.

Rice's infectious excitement to get started at his new club mirrored that of the north London fanbase. When the potential of his debut at the Emirates Stadium came up, Rice blurted out: "The carpet! The carpet!"

Arsenal's most expensive signings ever


Year signed

Signed from

Transfer fee

Declan Rice


West Ham


Nicolas Pepe




Kai Havertz




Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


Borussia Dortmund


Ben White




Alexandre Lacazette




Thomas Partey


Atletico Madrid


Gabriel Jesus


Manchester City


Mesut Ozil


Real Madrid


Jurrien Timber