Arsenal final pieces to the puzzle feature in 2022/23 sales Premier League clubs already regret

Jason Soutar
Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko celebrate a goal

Arsenal’s raid of Manchester City last summer has completely transformed Mikel Arteta’s side from top-four hopefuls to title favourites. Those deals have left City full of regret, while the Gunners are still pinching themselves.

Here are six 2022 summer sales that Premier League clubs already regret sanctioning.


Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City to Arsenal)
Pep Guardiola handed Mikel Arteta the chance to make his own mini Manchester City with the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has shown this season that he is the perfect inverted left-back.

Everyone knows that Arsenal are currently leading the Premier League title race but how the f*** have they pulled that off? Well, the signings of Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus – who I will talk about very soon – have played a huge part. Zinchenko – more so than the Brazilian – could have become a vital cog in Guardiola’s well-oiled machine at the Etihad had he stayed, given the fact Nathan Ake has played the majority of this season as a left-back. Ake has been brilliant, for what it’s worth, but he might not have had the opportunity to show his worth in that position if Zinchenko was still at the club.

The Ukrainian has usurped Emirates favourite Kieran Tierney on his way to becoming one of Arteta’s most important players. He is here, there and everywhere on the pitch: slotting in as a deep-lying midfielder, left winger, right winger and attacking midfielder throughout every chaotic 90 minutes. Sometimes he even decides to play left-back, the mad b*stard.

So, City have not only accidentally made Arsenal title favourites, but they have weakened themselves by selling a player who could have been so important this season on their way to a comfortable Premier League title win.


Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester to Nice)
Leicester City didn’t seem to have much of a choice with this one as Kasper Schmeichel obviously decided he was ready to take on a new challenge. Maybe he could smell what was in the air at the King Power after he pushed to join French club Nice as soon as he found out about their interest.

The Foxes had to do everything in their power to keep hold of Schmeichel, and maybe they did behind the scenes, but it doesn’t look like that’s how it went down.

Not only did Leicester get pennies for the Danish international, but they lost their club captain, an incredible character in the dressing room and most importantly, a fantastic goalkeeper. Danny Ward stepped in for Schmeichel and looked completely out of his depth at the beginning of the season. The Welshman did gradually improve but never proved himself to be good enough and has now been dropped for Daniel Iversen. An unfortunate own goal for Iversen against Crystal Palace helped Brendan Rodgers lose his job, which isn’t ideal.

Had Schmeichel stayed at Leicester, things could be a lot different. On the pitch, he would help, not just through his goalkeeping but his leadership, which the Foxes evidently lack. His experience behind the scenes would have been crucial as the threat of relegation gets extremely real for the now managerless Leicester, who were Premier League champions not so long ago.

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Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City to Arsenal)
I don’t think City have looked at Jesus this season and thought, ‘Why did we let him go? We should have made him our first-choice striker’. That takes nothing away from how good he is, but Guardiola has Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland. A 2022 summer transfer was the best outcome for all parties, but little did City know that they were helping complete Arteta’s puzzle at Arsenal.

Jesus sustained a serious knee injury during the World Cup and Arsenal fans feared the worst. Paul Merson said in September: “If Gabriel Jesus gets injured, they have massive problems.” After his injury was confirmed, he said: “If he is out for up to three months they will be out of the top four, let alone the Premier League title race…Eddie Nketiah can’t keep it up, no disrespect.” Merson was very, very wrong. Arsenal didn’t miss Jesus but his return for the run-in is absolutely massive. It could be what gets them over the line.

As I touched on before, Jesus wouldn’t start for City this season with Haaland and Alvarez on fire. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and I bet the Citizens wish they didn’t let the Brazil international join Arsenal. Without Jesus and Zinchenko, the Gunners would not be where they are at this stage of the campaign.


Edinson Cavani (Manchester United to Valencia)
Manchester United are lacking an out-and-out striker and were forced to complete the loan signing of Wout Weghorst in the winter transfer window following Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial exit.

This is once again another case of hindsight being a wonderful thing. Edinson Cavani was never going to sign a new contract. He was blindsided by the sudden arrival of Ronaldo in August 2021, which immediately saw him fall out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Injuries didn’t help his case, but it is safe to safe to say the experienced Uruguayan wouldn’t have agreed to stay for another year had he known Ronaldo was coming back to Old Trafford.

As everyone is aware, Ronaldo had a meltdown and forced a move elsewhere. This left Erik ten Hag with Anthony Martial as his only natural striker, and the Frenchman has spent more time on the sidelines than he has on the pitch this season. Cavani would have been an ideal solution and would have helped the club save some pennies by not signing Weghorst in January.

Cavani can do everything that Weghorst does, but would be a much bigger goal threat. To be fair, I would be a much bigger goal threat.


Divock Origi (Liverpool to AC Milan)
Divock Origi leaves Liverpool and they are all of a sudden rubbish. Coincidence? I think not.

The Belgian scored some huge goals during the seven years he spent at Anfield and the Reds could really do with having him this season. I can guarantee that Origi would have scored one or two clutch goals that would see Jurgen Klopp’s side a place or two higher in the Premier League or still in the FA Cup.

Liverpool striker Divock Origi celebrates with the Champions League trophy.

Does Origi walk straight into the Liverpool starting XI if he was still at the club? Probably not. But having such a reliable player would lift some of the pressure off Darwin Nunez, who has been very hot and cold since his big-money move from Benfica last summer.

Call me crazy but Liverpool letting Origi walk for nothing seems like a mistake.


Romeo Lavia (Manchester City to Southampton)
Manchester City’s sales to Arsenal are not the only transfers they regret. One positive from Romeo Lavia’s move to Southampton is that Guardiola’s side have the option to buy him back for £50million, which would be a bit sore considering he was allowed to leave for around £14m.

City might end up doing just that if Kalvin Phillips seeks a move elsewhere, or if Southampton accept a bid for the young Belgian midfielder from Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United, who could all do with a player in that mould. I cannot see City improving a rival again any time soon…

Like Jesus and unlike Zinchenko, Lavia probably wouldn’t be playing much had he stayed at the Etihad, but his incredible form at St Mary’s will be difficult to watch. Had they realised he had so much potential they could have saved themselves the £45m it cost to buy Phillips from Leeds, and another potential £36m should they bring the 20-year-old back in the future.

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