KickOff.com builds a potent starting XI of ex-Arsenal stars who were all sold in their prime
Posted: 23 January 2018 Time: 09:12
With Alexis Sanchez completing his move to Manchester United and Mesut Ozil's future still unresolved, KickOff.com looks at the best XI of former Arsenal players who were sold in their prime.
The Gunners have a notorious history of seeing their top talents depart in the peak of their careers, and with Chile international Sanchez following suit with a switch to Old Trafford, we look into what would make a rather potent starting XI of ex-Arsenal stars.
Goalkeeper: To be fair to the Arsenal, they have largely enjoyed full commitment in the goalkeeping department over the years, although Wojciech Szczesny's move to Juventus in 2015 left a sour taste in the mouth, especially after the shot-stopper revealed his departure from the Emirates Stadium was due to the club's inability to challenge for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League crowns. Shots fired.
Defenders: This is where the sour grapes start coming into play for the Gunners faithful, with a handful of stars made moves to direct rivals, with Ashley Cole leaving for cross-town neighbours Chelsea, while Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy both left for Manchester City. It was William Gallas, though, who arguably plunged the stake deepest after he left for bitter rivals Tottenham.
Midfielders: The further we head into the XI, the harder it gets for Arsenal fans as some of the club's most loved players turned villain in an instant, headlined by Cesc Fabregas' move to Barcelona in 2011, and later switch to London foes Chelsea. Meanwhile, Samir Nasri arguably takes the prize for 'Most Hated' by Arsenal fans after his unceremonious departure to Manchester City the same year as Fabregas, while Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires also left the club in shock circumstances, leaving Gunners supporters with more questions than answers, and departures than arrivals.
Strikers: It was in 2007, though, when Arsenal fans had their hearts ripped from their chests as club legend and all-time record goalscorer Thierry Henry was sold to Barcelona, for a paltry £16m - less than what Tottenham paid for Darren Bent in the same transfer window. The reading gets no easier for Arsenal fans either as Robin van Persie's departure came on the back of his Golden Boot-winning performances in 2011/12, with the Dutchman going on to replicate that feat with Manchester United the following year, spearheading the Red Devils' Premier League title success. And, one last nail in the Arsenal coffin comes in the form of Emmanuel Adebayor, who enjoyed three successful seasons in north London before being told his services were no longer needed and being shipped out to Barcelona, before returning to haunt the Gunners in the Premier League with Manchester City.
Sold Arsenal Stars XI: Szczesny, Cole, Sagna, Clichy, Gallas, Nasri, Vieira, Pires, Fabregas, Henry, Van Persie.
Subs: Kolo Toure, Alexander Hleb, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gilberto Silva