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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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