From Ashley Cole to Alexis Sanchez: Ten players to leave Arsenal for big-six rivals

Tom Biggs 31/01/2018
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Alexis Sanchez in action for Manchester United against Yeovil Town

When Ashley Cole made his controversial move across London in the summer of 2006, few could have expected Arsenal to allow for so many stars to depart for Premier League rivals.

Following Alexis Sanchez’s switch to Manchester United and Olivier Giroud’s move to Chelsea in January, manager Arsene Wenger has now seen at least ten players move on to top-six rivals in the last 12 years.

Here, we take a look at the fortunes of ten players following their moves away from Emirates Stadium.

Ashley Cole – Chelsea – Trophies: 9

Without question the player to have achieved the most success following a move away from Arsenal, Cole’s controversial transfer to Chelsea paid off in remarkable fashion for the left-back.

Cole won nine trophies during his eight seasons at Stamford Bridge, including one Premier League title, four FA Cup trophies and of course, the Champions League in 2012, while Arsenal won just a single FA Cup in that time.

Ashley Cole kisses the Champions League trophy

Ashley Cole kisses the Champions League trophy

Emmanuel Adebayor – Manchester City – Trophies: 0

After two seasons without selling to a direct rival, Arsenal sold two in one summer, as both Adebayor and Kolo Toure made the move to Manchester City in 2009.

For Adebayor there was very little to shout about, with his finest – and most controversial – moment for Manchester City coming in a 4-2 win against the Gunners, in which he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal’s away following.

The Togo star would fail to win a trophy with City before loan moves at Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur were followed by a permanent switch to White Hart Lane.

Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates scoring against Arsenal

Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates scoring against Arsenal

Kolo Toure – Manchester City – Trophies: 1

11 days after Adebayor’s arrival at City, Toure would follow suit, arriving for a fee of £16 million. He was immediately appointed captain by then-manager Mark Hughes ahead of the 2009/10 campaign.

The Ivorian would spend four seasons at the Etihad, playing a bit-part role in their Premier League success in 2011/12, before making the move to Liverpool.

Kolo Toure wheels away to celebrate scoring for Manchester City

Kolo Toure wheels away to celebrate scoring for Manchester City

Gael Clichy – Manchester City – Trophies: 5

After a season of no business between the two, Manchester City went back for two more of Arsenal’s players in the summer of 2011, signing both Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy.

Left-back Clichy was the first to make the move from London to Manchester. He would spend six seasons with City, winning two Premier League titles, two League Cups and one Community Shield.

Gael Clichy playing for Manchester City

Gael Clichy playing for Manchester City

Samir Nasri – Manchester City – Trophies: 4

Nasri’s decision to join City rather than rivals United was seen as controversial at the time, but the move paid off within 12 months, as he won the Premier League in his first season and then the Community Shield.

The Frenchman would win the league again in 2014, as well as the League Cup in the same season, before he found himself on the fringes at the Etihad Stadium and loaned out to Sevilla in 2016.

Samir Nasri celebrates scoring for Manchester City against Everton

Samir Nasri celebrates scoring for Manchester City against Everton

Robin van Persie – Manchester United – Trophies: 2

The little boy inside Robin van Persie is what saw him decide to make the move from Arsenal to Manchester United in the summer of 2012 – much to the frustration of the Emirates faithful.

Just like Clichy and Nasri the season before, the move would pay dividends immediately, as van Persie fired Sir Alex’s Ferguson’s men to the Premier League title in the legendary manager’s final year in charge.

Robin van Persie celebrates scoring for Manchester United

Robin van Persie celebrates scoring for Manchester United

Bacary Sagna – Manchester City – Trophies: 1

After refusing to sign a new deal with Arsenal, Bacary Sagna agreed a deal with Manchester City – the reigning Premier League champions – joining on a three-year deal.

Sagna’s time at City would not prove too fruitful, winning just the League Cup in 2016 during his three seasons with the club, before departing at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

Bacary Sagna in action for Manchester City against Arsenal

Bacary Sagna in action for Manchester City against Arsenal

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Liverpool – Trophies: 0

Shortly after playing in Arsenal’s humiliating defeat to Liverpool at Anfield at the start of the 2017/18 campaign, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed a move to Jurgen Klopp’s side.

The England international has made 33 appearances since joining the club, scoring four goals and grabbing four assists, as Liverpool compete for a place in the Premier League’s top four and the Champions League.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring for Liverpool

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring for Liverpool

Alexis Sanchez – Manchester United – Trophies: 0

Joining Giroud in completing a move away from Arsenal this January was Sanchez. After being strongly linked with Manchester City, rivals United stole in to sign the Chilean in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

After making his debut against Yeovil in the FA Cup, a competition Arsenal had already been knocked out of, Sanchez will be hoping his move from the Emirates to Old Trafford works out the same way it did for Van Persie.

Alexis Sanchez on his Manchester United debut

Alexis Sanchez on his Manchester United debut

Olivier Giroud – Chelsea – Trophies: 0

Giroud became the second player in January to leave Arsenal for a top-six rival, making the same move as Cole back in 2006 by switching north London for west London.

The Frenchman won three FA Cups and two Community Shields during his time at Arsenal, becoming a fan favourite, before making the move to Stamford Bridge following Wenger’s decision to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring for Arsenal

Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring for Arsenal

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Liverpool buy a gem in Luis Suarez, Man United borrow a seasoned striker - The Premier League's 10 best January signings

Brendon Netto 31/01/2018

The January transfer window is always more tricky than its summer counterpart.

Play your cards right, and you could get just the boost you need for the rest of the season or even make a clever investment that can serve the team for years to come.

Here are our top 10 January signings in the Premier League era.

10. MIKEL ARTETA | REAL SOCIEDAD TO EVERTON | £2M Arteta helped Everton to a fourth-place finish following a loan move in January 2005. The Spaniard settled in seamlessly and David Moyes ensured the move was made permanent that summer for a bargain.
9. PATRICE EVRA | AS MONACO TO MAN UNITED | £7M Evra initially struggled following his arrival in 2006 but went on to establish himself in the first team. He became a fan favourite over the years, winning five league titles and one Champions League. 8. GABRIEL JESUS | PALMEIRAS TO MAN CITY | £27M Guardiola may have splurged on defenders at City but Jesus was one of his shrewder purchases. The young Brazilian striker hit the ground running, scoring seven in his first 11 appearances and hasn't looked back. 7. JAVIER MASCHERANO | WEST HAM TO LIVERPOOL | £18M Rafa Benitez's inspired signing of Mascherano in 2007 to partner Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard formed one of Liverpool's finest midfields, nearly ending their long wait for a league title. 6. NEMANJA MATIC | BENFICA TO CHELSEA | £21M Jose Mourinho raised eyebrows when he spent heavily to bring Matic back to the Bridge but the decision proved to be right as he was the foundation on which Chelsea's 2014-15 title-winning team was built. 5. HENRIK LARSSON | HELSINGBORG TO MAN UNITED | LOAN He only scored three goals in his 13 appearances for United but his presence, link-up play and overall contribution boosted the team during a key juncture of the 2006-07 season... for no fee. 4. GARY CAHILL | BOLTON TO CHELSEA | £7M After signing in 2012, Cahill remarkably went on to win all six tournaments Chelsea participated in at least once. He helped ease the transition as John Terry played sporadically and eventually left. 3. PHILIPPE COUTINHO | INTER MILAN TO LIVERPOOL | £8.5M Coutinho joined the Reds in 2013 and has since risen to stardom. The Brazilian magician wowed Premier League audiences and was named Liverpool's Player of the Year in the last two seasons before Barcelona came calling. 2. NEMANJA VIDIC | SPARTAK MOSCOW TO MAN UNITED | £7.2M Vidic's fearless no-nonsense approach perfectly complimented Rio Ferdinand and duo went on to forge a centre-back pairing that dominated Europe during one of the club's most successful periods. 1. LUIS SUAREZ | PSV TO LIVERPOOL | £22.5M Suarez arrived at Anfield in 2011 in Andy Carroll's shadow. After a record of 82 goals in 133 appearances though, he achieved legendary status, drawing comparisons to Liverpool's greatest ever players. Carroll, well, didn't.

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Man City will have to break their transfer record again to sign Riyad Mahrez

David Cooper 31/01/2018
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Manchester City could make a deadline-day transfer raid for Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez but look certain to have to stump up another club-record fee.

The Algeria international is understood to have been earmarked as a potential late target for the Premier League leaders after the blow of losing Leroy Sane to injury.

Reports on Tuesday claimed an offer has gone in to Leicester but that the Foxes would have no interest in selling unless a huge sum is on the table.

The 26-year-old would give City manager Pep Guardiola another attacking option as he chases glory in four competitions.

Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has completed his move to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund on a long-term contract for a club-record fee.

The 28-year-old – who joins in a transfer worth a reported £60million – becomes the Gunners’ second signing of the January transfer window, after Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had accepted getting the Aubameyang deal over the line would prove “complicated”, with Dortmund believed to want assurances over a replacement – possibly Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea, themselves looking to bring in Gunners forward Olivier Giroud – before letting Gabon’s all-time leading scorer depart.

But the north London club announced on their website on Wednesday morning that the deal had been sealed, “subject to the completion of regulatory processes”.

Ki Sung-yueng has committed himself to Swansea’s survival battle and insisted his West Ham suitors “are no better than us”.

It is understood the Hammers are keen on adding Ki and Swansea team-mate Alfie Mawson to their own Premier League relegation scrap before the 11pm deadline on Wednesday night.

But Swansea do not want to sell anyone and South Korean midfielder Ki – who is out of contract in the summer – plans to see out the season at the Liberty Stadium.

“I have already said my concentration is to survive in the league here and we are starting to play better,” Ki said after Swansea moved out of the bottom three by beating Arsenal 3-1 on Tuesday night. “I want to be here and if Swansea want me to stay here, then I can help this team stay in the Premier League.

Ki Sung-Yueng

“It is a difficult time but I don’t think I am going to leave. I don’t need to move. I don’t think West Ham are better than us.”

Southampton’s attempts to sign forward Quincy Promes are being met by resistance from Spartak Moscow, it is understood.

It looks set to be a busy deadline day for Championship clubs after several managers vowed to dip into the transfer market following Tuesday night’s fixtures.

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman said Ovie Ejaria will be joining his side on loan from Liverpool as a replacement for Watford-bound Didier Ndong after their 3-1 defeat to

Birmingham, while Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka said he would be adding to his squad following the 3-0 home defeat against Preston.

Jordan Hugill was left out of Preston’s matchday squad against Forest after boss Alex Neil decided he was not in the right frame of mind amid speculation linking him with a move to Crystal Palace.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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