Arsenal have made some short-sighted sales in recent years.
Since then, though, has has 42 Bundesliga goals, and is now playing for German champions Bayern Munich – he has 18 goals and 12 assists in all competitions this term and is currently valued by Transfermarkt at £81m.
Although not on the same scale, Jeff-Reine Adelaide could be another to have slipped the net in north London if his career trajectory since departing is anything to go by.
Here, we take a look at where he is now…
Reine-Adelaide joined the Premier League side from French club RC Lens in 2015 for a fee of £2.25m, as per Transfermarkt – the Ligue 1 side have also nurtured Geoffrey Kondogbia and Raphael Varane in recent years. Arsene Wenger, the man to take him to Arsenal, said of him following a pre-season game: “Reine-Adelaide is something special you know. He is a great talent and when he came on you could see that.”
High praise indeed, but it was a switch that didn’t work out for the Frenchman. He ended up making just eight appearances for the club, of which only five were starts – he failed to produce a single goal or assist. During his last campaign, he failed to even feature once, instead being loaned out to Angers in January. After 10 appearances, Unai Emery seemed to be in no hurry to see him return, and he made the switch permanent, with Transfermarkt reporting the fee at £1.44m.
It seems moving back to his homeland has done him a world of good. Last term, he was a regular for Angers, making 35 appearances in the league as they stayed up comfortably in 13th place – he scored three goals and provided three assists, displaying versatility in a number of different positions, from right-midfield to centre-forward.
That campaign caught the eye of one of France’s biggest clubs, Lyon. Les Gones may not have quite the pull they did when they won seven Ligue 1 titles in a row in the 2000s, but they are still a powerhouse across the channel.
It was there where he made his switch, costing a cool €25m (£23.1m) plus €2.5m (£2.3m) in potential add-ons – Arsenal, at least, did see some of that fee as they had a 10% sell-on clause in the deal that saw him leave.
He has had a mixed campaign so far.
On the pitch, there have been plenty of positives – he has three goals and four assists in 15 matches in the league, whilst he has five appearances in the Champions League. Unfortunately, he ruptured his cruciate ligament in December, but with French football currently suspended, he has more time to recover.
Now valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, his stock continues to rise.