Arsenal’s second-most expensive sale still Nicolas Anelka – despite exit in 1999

Although spending big money in a sensible way can get teams a long way in the Premier League, maximising sales and reinvesting that income properly has also proven to be a route to success.

It's a path Liverpool have followed to perfection under Jurgen Klopp, with big names moving on and excellent replacements coming in. The German has steered Liverpool to the top-flight title, the Champions League, the FA Cup and the League Cup during his time in charge. Arsenal, by contrast, have not got their recruitment right in recent years.

Not only have the club been hit-and-miss when it comes to incoming players, it has been rare for them to sell players for top dollar. That is best illustrated by the remarkable fact that their second-highest sale came 23 years ago, when Nicolas Anelka moved to Real Madrid for £31.5 million. Here is a look at some of the biggest sales in Arsenal's history and how they've gone on to fare after life in north London.

1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool, £34.2m, 2017)

With his contract running down, Liverpool pounced to secure the signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain for what was then regarded as a knockdown transfer fee.

The versatile midfielder enjoyed a strong start to life at Anfield and was crucial to Liverpool's run to the Champions League final in 2018. However, a serious knee injury curtailed his season early and he's not quite scaled the same heights since.

At Arsenal, the England international also failed to turn in consistent performances and even at the age of 28 it's still not completely clear in what position he is most effective on the field.

A move beckons for Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer, as he's fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool.

Where will Arsenal finish in next season's Premier League? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below

2. Nicolas Anelka (Real Madrid, £31.5m, 1999)

While Anelka went on to enjoy remarkable success in his career, as a player he was never better than in his spell with Arsenal.

The France international was an electric presence at the point of the attack under Arsene Wenger, helping the team win the Premier League title in his first campaign. The following season the forward took off, netting 19 goals in all competitions and attracting the interest of Real Madrid.

A switch to the Spanish capital didn't work out though. The youngster failed to find the net in his first five months with Los Blancos and was shipped out to Paris Saint-Germain after just one year.

He would go on to enjoy spells with Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.

3. Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United, £30.6m, 2018)

When Alexis Sanchez left Arsenal to join Manchester United, he was widely regarded as one of the best forwards in the Premier League. The Red Devils were deemed to have secured a coup, as they nipped ahead of rivals Manchester City to land the Chilean.

But the deal could not have gone much worse for the player and his new club.

Sanchez was unable to replicate any of the form he had shown for the Gunners and previously at Barcelona. He spent just one-and-a-half years at United before moving to Inter on loan and then eventually permanently.

As part of the deal, United sent Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the Emirates Stadium. The transfer failed to work out for the Armenia international too, as he was loaned out to Roma in 2019, where he eventually moved permanently.

4. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona, £30.6m, 2011)

One deal that definitely hurt Arsenal supporters was the sale of Cesc Fabregas, who eventually returned to boyhood club Barcelona in 2011 after a protracted saga.

Fabregas had kicked on from a youngster at the Gunners into becoming the creative heartbeat of the team, the captain and one of the best midfielders in world football.

Back at the Camp Nou, while Fabregas enjoyed some memorable successes, he was never able to fully cement his position in the starting XI. The peerless Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi continued to perform to an extraordinary standard, meaning a move was on the cards.

After a move to Manchester United didn't come off in 2013, a year later Fabregas joined Arsenal's bitter rivals Chelsea and Jose Mourinho. He helped the Blues to the title and added another a couple of years later under Antonio Conte.

At 35, he is still performing to a high standard in Ligue 1 with Monaco.

5. Robin van Persie (Manchester United, £27.63m, 2012)

This one stung.

At the time of his move from Arsenal to Manchester United, Robin van Persie was the hottest striker in the Premier League. With his contract running down in north London, the Dutchman decided to make the move north, famously listening to the "little boy" within him.

Van Persie was jeered frequently by Arsenal supporters when he came up against them, but the striker scored in both games against the Gunners as part of an incredible individual campaign.

He scored 26 times in the Premier League in his debut season, helping United win the title in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season at the helm. It was the last time the Red Devils have scaled the summit of the English game.

All figures courtesy of the Transfermarkt website

Source: Read Full Article