Like many others, I tried to purchase the Arsenal Away 2022/23 shirt (stupidly in early May) for my nephew. Seeing this shirt sold out everywhere and resellers pumping up the price, listing the shirt for £150-£200+ I was thrilled to know what made this shirt special and why there was such a demand for this shirt. 

We spoke to Gunners fans and collectors and got their views on why this shirt is so special, why it sold out so quickly, and their views on the way the market is behaving with the price. 

The Shirt

No doubt this is a nice shirt and a brilliant effort by Adidas, not the first time Adidas created stunning shirts for Arsenal, the brand produced some iconic shirts for the North London club between 1986-1994, before their competitor Nike took over during the clubs most successful period in the mid-90s - early 00s. 

First debuted in the pre season friendly against Orlando City which Arsenal won 3-1, the jersey which is black combined with metallic gold on all the logos and grey for the Adidas shoulder stripes. 

The most eye catching part of the shirt is the feint geomatric design across the front of the shirt and the sleeves, bringing back the old 90s vibes to the shirt. 

(Bukayo Saka modelling the Arsenal Away 2022/2023 Away Shirt - Photo Credit - Arsenal FC)  

So what makes this shirt so special? 

'I think some of it has to do with the unique colour choice for an arsenal kit in particular. The choice of black and gold always seems to be an instant hit with most teams who have used these colours in the past. The pattern on the shirt varies slightly on each shirt so in theory each shirt is unique for the owner' Arsenal shirt collector and fan Chris Roberts (@ChrisRobers8) told us. 

This is the first time Adidas produced a black shirt for Arsenal, Arsenal did have a black shirt as their third shirt in the 2017/18 season by Puma, the club's goalkeeper shirt in the 2020/21 season was also black. 

Arsenal fan and shirt collector Paul Dawnes (@dawesy2801) added 'For me it is because it’s something new - we haven’t seen a black and gold kit for Arsenal and there seems to be a current fashion statement around black and gold kits - the shirt is unique but for me epitomises the “Class” of The Arsenal.

When the shirt was released its the detail of the design that caught the eye of Arsenal fans and collectors and speaking of the design season ticket holder and known collector Matthew Beason (@The_Arsenal_Kit_Geek) said:

'When the shirt was released, for me the striking thing about the shirt was the colours - and the contrast of the black/grey, and the gold in particular on the cup font. I like it with Premier league font, but the black and gold combo is just stunning. However the thing that makes a shirt so special is the memories associated with it, and it’s been a special season. I can’t look at this shirt and not think Saliba, but I must confess I also have Saka and Jesus on short and long versions'.

(The Shirt was sold out on Arsenal's website along with the shorts with only the socks being available as of May 2023) 

(The shirt also sold out on the manufacturers Adidas website)

So why is there such a demand for this shirt and why is it so hard to get hold of?

Being sold out on both Arsenal and Adidas websites instantly this shirt became very difficult to get hold of and purchase with many resellers on eBay and other marketplaces listing the shirt for £150 plus! 

'In terms of demand, I think arsenal shirt collecting has just gone through the roof since lockdown. I am sure those part of formal collector groups would agree - the collector community has grown tenfold and as a result, everyone wants to ensure they don’t miss out on the “new” shirts when they’re released.

I also think those same collectors are hoarding. I have one long and one short, but I think lots of people have bought to sell - either short-term when they’re all sold out, or long terms when they’ve trebled in price. Just my opinion but I know many collectors, and indeed sellers, with large numbers of these shirts in their original bags' Matthew Beason (@The_Arsenal_Kit_Geek) said.

(Promotional banner on Arsenal FC website - Photo credit - Arsenal FC) 

Arsenal fan and collector Marcus (@Kit_manaman) added 'I think there's 3 main reasons there’s such a high demand 1st of it's very aesthetically pleasing, 2nd the fans for the 1st time in a very long time feel connected to the team & 3rd obviously it looked like we were going to win the league and I think with that even fans that don’t usually buy football shirts and haven’t had one for like 20 years went of the way to buy one also a lot of natural people/ collectors outside the UK bought it because it’s so nice'.

Chris Roberts (ChrisRoberts8) also said 'The demand of the shirt in particular in the authentic/player spec version a lot has to do with the lack of restocking from arsenal/adidas. The kit sold out on day of release and I believe broke all kinds of records for an arsenal shirt'.

So with the shirt sold out everywhere, what are the thoughts on the pricing and how the market is behaving? 

Despite being such a unique shirt with one of the best designs we have seen this season many fans are not happy with the number of shirts that were available

Prices of this shirt have risen from its original price to between £150-£200. 

`In terms of pricing, I think a lot of it these days comes down to the demand and how difficult it is to get your hands on. Due to this, I think sellers know this, so are taking advantage of it but then at the end of the day, a shirt is only worth what someone is willing to pay'. Chris Roberts (ChrisRoberts8) said. 

Matthew Beeson (@The_Arsenal_Kit_Geek) also agreed and said 'in terms of pricing I think the club have missed a real opportunity this year. Such has been the success of the away shirt, I personally would have retained it for a second season and released many more shirts. What a message that would have sent. It also would have given something back to fans who are spending hundreds of pounds a year on shirts'.

'Prices of shirts are outrageous, but the problem is, like many other things in life, it’s supply and demand. However like the premier league did with capping away ticket prices, I think a cap on shirt prices, particularly for kids and infants/toddlers should be put in place'.

As the hobby grows and becomes popular fans and collectors across the world are still looking to purchase this shirt. 

'Unfortunately, all brands are seeing it as an opportunity to put the prices up because people will still pay! I don’t remember Football Shirt Collecting being as popular as it is now but I don’t agree with it at all - it’s a shame that despite more people wanting to own and collect football shirts they have priced people out - what I dislike more is they have up the price of the standard versions of shirts but the quality has dropped off massively! I don’t mind paying a higher price for a player premium version but the quality of the cheaper option needs to improve or drop the price! Paul Dawnes (@dawesy2801) said. 

(Resellers have taken advantage of the hype and listing the shirts on eBay) 

Will this shirt go down in history as one of the best Arsenal shirts alongside the iconic ones? 

Chris Roberts (@ChrisRoberts8) thinks this shirt will definitely go down in history; 'the shirt is definitely going to go down as a future classic if it hasn’t already. A lot of collectors I’ve spoken to all seem to agree that it’s the best Arsenal away shirt since the gold sega from the 01/02 season if not the best shirt of all time. I also think that the season that the club have had also has helped with the enthusiasm around everything Arsenal'.

As the season came to a close with Arsenal coming so close to winning the title there is a lot of hope and positivity around this young Arsenal side, were you lucky to purchase this shirt? What are your thoughts on it? Let us know below! 

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