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Arsenal usually get the better over Barcelona when it comes to transfers

first_img 8. Thomas Vermaelen was sold for £15m in 2014 – It works out for very few Arsenal players when they swap London for Barcelona, as Hector Bellerin has probably been told by countless Gooners and Arsene Wenger was presumably stifling a laugh when the Spanish side offered him £15m for Vermaelen. He was a brilliant defender who also captained the club, but injuries prevented him making a mark in Spain, meaning he played 62 minutes of football in his first season. The 31-year-old was loaned to Roma at the start of the 2016/17 season but doesn’t look like he has a future there and will be searching for a new club this summer. 8 8 4. Marc Overmars was sold for £25m in 2000 – Overmars is one of Arsenal’s finest players and was key to the club winning the double in 1998. He scored the all-important goal in a 1998 win against Man United at Old Trafford but left with Petit in 2000. The £25m was a record fee for a Dutch footballer, however, he wasn’t able to reproduce his scintillating Arsenal form which was not helped by knee injury. It eventually forced him to retire at the age of 31 in 2004. 3. Cesc Fabregas was sold for £35m in 2011 – “We have lost a world-class player,” Arsene Wenger said. “We are sad about it because we tried to keep him.” At 24, Fabregas was the captain and one of the classiest midfielders in Europe, but moved to boyhood club Barcelona for £35m in 2011 to take on the “greatest challenge of my life.” He won the league and cup during his time in Spain, but didn’t exactly set the world alight and was sold to Chelsea in 2014. 7. Alexander Hleb was sold for £11.8m in 2008 – Hleb said he gets ‘sad’ when he thinks about his decision to leave Arsenal for Barcelona in 2008 because of his benchwarmer role. However, he is more of a success than Vermaelen because Hleb can technically call himself a treble winner as he was a member of the team which won the league, Champions League and Copa del Rey in 2009. He was well liked by Gooners, but there weren’t tears when he left. 8 6. Alex Song was sold for £15m in 2012 – Remember when Song thought Carles Puyol was giving him an award on the pitch? That was funny and extremely cringing to watch. He joined Barca at the same time as Jordi Alba and although he won a title in his first campaign Song was never really that popular. He was loaned to West Ham in 2014 and the 29-year-old now plays for Rubin Kazan. 2. Giovanni van Bronckhorst was sold for undisclosed fee in 2004 – Having arrived from Rangers in 2001, the Dutchman was supposed to replace Emmanuel Petit, but a cruciate ligament injury prevented him from regular first team football and when opportunities were limited when he returned and that’s when Barcelona came calling. Van Bronckhorst cemented his place as Barca’s left-back in his four years at the club having initially joined on loan. He won back-to-back Liga titles during his time there and was part of the 2006 Champions League winning side that beat Arsenal in the final. 8 8 8 There’s an awful lot of speculation in Spain linking Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin with a return to Barcelona.The 22-year-old spent his youth career at the club before joining the Gunners as a 16-year-old in 2011.Understandably, manager Arsene Wenger doesn’t want him to leave, while Bellerin is thought to not actively be seeking a transfer.It works out well for very few Arsenal players when they swap London for Barcelona. 8 1. Thierry Henry was sold for £16m in 2007 – Henry may have been 29 when Arsenal sold him to Barcelona in 2007, but the striker was still in his prime and he shone alongside Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi. At the end of the 2008/09 season he won the league, cup and Champions League as the attacking trio scored goals for fun. 5. Emmanuel Petit was sold for £8m in 2000 – Petit regrets leaving Arsenal in 2000. In his three seasons at Highbury he formed a strong midfield partnership with Patrick Vieira, won a league and cup double and appeared in The Bill’s Christmas special. He only played one season in Spain and claimed manager Lorenzo Serra Ferrer asked him what position he played in upon his arrival. It was an unhappy year and was actively looking to get out, with Chelsea bringing him back to the Premier League in 2001. 8last_img read more

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