5 players who left Arsenal to find success
Arsenal are undoubtedly one of the Premier League’s biggest clubs. Widely considered part of the league’s ‘Big Six’, the Gunners have been regular contenders for the Premier League title, as well as Champions League qualification, over the last 25 years.
However, that hasn’t stopped a large number of players from leaving the Emirates Stadium for pastures new in an attempt to find more success and more trophies. That was particularly true during the period of austerity at Arsenal that followed the move to their new stadium in 2006.
Gunners fans might’ve been upset by their moves, but in the end these players did pretty well at their new homes. Here are five players who tasted great success in their careers after leaving Arsenal.
#1 Robin van Persie
Dutch striker Robin van Persie is perhaps the greatest example of a player who left Arsenal in search of more success.
Van Persie joined the Gunners from Feyenoord in the summer of 2004 for a fee of just £2.75m. He was an immediate hit at Highbury, making his debut in a victorious Community Shield match before going on to score 10 goals in 41 appearances as Arsenal won the FA Cup at the end of his first season.
However, despite establishing himself as the Gunners’ leading forward over the next few years, that FA Cup win in his debut season would prove to be the high point of his Arsenal career.
Van Persie never really stopped scoring goals for the club – he delivered 132 in 278 appearances all told – but the closest he came to another trophy was in the Champions League in 2005-06, when the Gunners made the final only to lose to Barcelona.
By the end of 2011-12, the Dutchman had evidently tired of Arsenal’s trophy drought, and announced that he had no intention of signing a new deal at the club. Just weeks later, in something of a shocking move, he was sold to Manchester United – a bitter rival of Arsenal - for a fee of £22.5m.
Van Persie’s move would pay off massively; the Dutchman proved to be the key performer at Old Trafford as United stormed to their 20th Premier League title. He scored a phenomenal 26 goals in 38 league games, including two hat-tricks and two late winners against Liverpool and Manchester City.
To say the Dutchman would have no regrets about his move would be an understatement.