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Ashley Cole and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain thrived at Chelsea and Liverpool after leaving Arsenal, so will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang follow?

There was once a time where, along with Manchester United, Arsenal ruled the roost in the Premier League.

But times change, especially in football, and the reality is the Gunners and to a lesser extent United have lost their status as title contenders.

For Arsenal, they’ve struggled to keep hold of their star players in recent years and could lose the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Real Madrid reportedly tracking the striker.

Aubameyang will probably have a big decision to make this summer
Getty Images – Getty

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left north London for Liverpool in 2017 and recently opened up on how leaving Arsenal was the ‘hardest decision’ he’s ever had to make.

However, this proved to be a smart move by Oxlade-Chamberlain as he’s now at a club that’s progressed hugely, having won last season’s Champions League and they are also on the verge of winning the Premier League this term.

An added bonus for Oxlade-Chamberlain sees him in his preferred position of central midfield instead of the wing-back role he played in his final days at Arsenal. has taken a look at nine other players who have benefited from leaving Arsenal.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

The Dutchman’s time at Arsenal was short but sweet having won the Premier League and FA Cup in his two years at the club despite suffering from a bad knee injury in his first season.

Van Bronckhorst then moved onto Barcelona in 2003 and was part of their squads that won LaLiga in 2004/05 and 2005/06.

He also played the full 90 minutes of Barca’s Champions League triumph in 2006, where they beat Arsenal in the final…

Van Bronckhorst would go back to haunt his former club in 2006 as Barca ran out 2-1 winners in Paris
AFP – Getty

Thierry Henry

As Arsenal’s record goalscorer, it would be fair to say that Henry’s best playing days came in north London.

But a player of his quality should have been competing for the top prizes throughout his career so he got out at the right time when he left Arsenal – who had already sold the likes of Patrick Vieira and Ashley Cole – for Barcelona in June 2007.

At Barca, Henry scooped up the trophy that had eluded him – the Champions League. He also won LaLiga twice before being moved on aged 32.

8. Thierry Henry - 59 goals in 140 UEFA club competition games
Henry won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2009, where they beat Man United in the final

Ashley Cole

He was nicknamed ‘Cashley’ when deciding to join rivals Chelsea in August 2006 but who could blame Cole for wanting a higher wage?

Hindsight shows us that his reasons for leaving were not purely financially related as Arsenal were regressing and Chelsea were very much one of the top sides in England and Europe then.

The left-back enjoyed a successful eight years at Stamford Bridge which saw him win a Premier League title, four FA Cups as well as a Champions League in 2012, where he put in a man-of-the-match display against Bayern Munich.

4. You don't think Ashley Cole is an absolute tw*t!
Cole had plenty of success at Arsenal but the move to Chelsea allowed him to continue winning silverware

Cesc Fabgregas

Another player who simply couldn’t resist the temptation of the Camp Nou was Fabregas, who actually joined Arsenal as a youngster from the Spanish giants aged 15.

This transfer really stung Arsenal fans as he was their captain and best player when he upped sticks in August 2011.

Few could blame him though as he was joining a truly incredible Barcelona side managed by Pep Guardiola. Fabregas got his first league title at Barca, something he never managed at Arsenal.

Later on he would win two Premier League titles with Chelsea, plus an FA Cup and a League Cup.

Few could blame Fabregas for following his dreams but his decision to sign for Chelsea in 2014 angered Arsenal fans

Samir Nasri

His career really has gone off course in recent years but Nasri’s decision to join Manchester City in 2011 did prove to be the right one.

Like Fabgreas, Nasri was one of Arsenal’s star players but did not have the trophies to show for his efforts.

So a move to City, who also bought Sergio Aguero that summer, was a no-brainer and the Frenchman’s decision to leave was justified when he won the Premier League in his first season at his new club.

He won another league title and has a League Cup winners’ medal to his name too.

Nasri could have achieved more in his career but joining Man City was a smart move on his part

Gael Clichy

Nasri wasn’t the only Gunner Man City poached in the summer of 2011, with left-back Clichy also deciding to move on.

Clichy was actually the last remaining member of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ side in 2003/04 but was very much a junior player so may not have felt a part of the success.

Trophies were very hard to come by at Arsenal after that but it wasn’t a problem for Clichy when he joined City. He won two Premier League titles and two League Cups in six years at the Etihad.

6. Gael Clichy won the Premier League with Arsenal (2004) and Man City (2012, 2014)
Clichy (left) moved to Man City for less than £7million

Robin van Persie

Selling important players to Man City was hard enough but letting your best striker go to Man United is so much worse.

Van Persie may have only won the Premier League and Community Shield with the Red Devils but it’s unlikely he would have got the league title he craved had he stayed at Arsenal.

Van Persie was the difference between the title going to Man United ahead of Man City in 2012/13

Serge Gnabry

Few batted an eyelid when Gnabry left Arsenal in 2016 as he was seemingly not even good enough to play for West Brom following an unsuccessful loan spell at The Hawthorns, according to then-Baggies boss Tony Pulis.

But everyone’s wondering what Arsenal were thinking given Gnabry is now tearing things up at Bayern Munich, helping the German giants beat Tottenham and Chelsea in this season’s Champions League.

However, there is some controversy surrounding the Germany international’s departure from Arsenal, with then-Gunners boss Arsene Wenger accusing Bayern of ‘stealing’ him having bought Gnary from Werder Bremen a year after leaving Arsenal.

Wenger said Gnabry looked for the ‘easy way’ in football during his time at Arsenal
AFP or licensors

Wojciech Szczesny

Not many Arsenal fans would have complained to see the goalkeeper leave their club either but Szczesny’s career really has improved since.

The Poland international joined Juventus in 2017 and became their No.1 when Gianluigi Buffon left in 2018.

Buffon has since returned but Szczesny is still the main man between the sticks and has two Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia and a Supercoppa Italiana to his name.

Going from an inconsistent performer at Arsenal to Juve’s No.1 is not a bad step up…

Give COVID-19 the red card

The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…

STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.

The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

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