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xGunners: Arsenal’s worrying squad age profile

The Gunners are full of players at the end of their primes or past it and are linked with even more older players. This makes me very nervous.

Western Sydney Wanderers Gold Star Luncheon
Ivan’s brain trust seems to be skewing towards the older side for rebuilding Arsenal
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

During the Arsene Wenger era, Arsenal fans liked to boast that Arsenal were a team that made stars and didn’t buy them.

Right now that seems like that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you look at the Arsenal roster, especially in the attacking part of the pitch, Arsenal have a lot of players that are on the downside of their primes or, even worse, already into the decline phase of their career.

Among the top six teams Arsenal had the highest average age according to transfermarkt last season at 26.8 years old. Breaking it down further by minutes played, only Manchester United (with the famously youth averse Jose Mourniho managing the team) had a larger share go to players 29 and older than Arsenal.

To make matters worse, many of the transfer targets that Arsenal have been linked to this summer have all been 29 or older.

Marouane Fellaini (the latest rumor) will turn 31 in November.

Steven Nzonzi is 29 and will be 30 in December.

Right back target Stephan Lichtsteiner is 34.

Center back target Sokratis Papastathopoulos is 29 with his 30th birthday just days away.

For a team that really looks like it needs a rebuild to be able to get back to challenging for a top four spot let alone for a title, these seem like very short term moves that don’t help the team build towards those goals. Arsenal have brought in and been linked to some young players, but what seems to be missing is the players in the early 20’s age range and be expected to be able to play right away.

I really hope that a lot of these rumors are just that. I hope that agents are using the chaning of the power structure at Arsenal as an opportunity to get their older players linked to a “big club” to be able to try to squeeze another decent paycheck out for the clients.