Arsenal’s recent transfer dealings may have left some supporters perplexed, but once upon a time Arsene Wenger was the king of the market.
If the likes of Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Marc Overmars aren’t proof enough, there was one signing that was so perfect, it even managed to piss off the fans of Arsenal’s biggest rivals for decades to come.
The signing of Sol Campbell was, arguably, the greatest in the English top flight.
Not only did Arsenal pay zilch for the best English centre-back (alongside Rio Ferdinand) of his generation, but Campbell came from Tottenham.
Campbell was moulded into a colossus of a defender by the youth staff at Tottenham, and by the late 1990s he was one of the best defenders in the league and an England regular.
But in 2001, Campbell decided he wasn’t going to sign a new contract and that he would leave the club. That, in itself, isn’t the worst thing in the world. Campbell had somewhat outgrown Tottenham and fans of the club wouldn’t have begrudged him a shot in a better team.
But when that better team turned out to be the Gunners, well, they weren’t that forgiving.
Spurs fans still detest Campbell so much that they still sing about him and his treachery in the stands today.
Campbell on the other hand went on to win two titles and two FA Cups at Arsenal, and was part of Premier League history as one half of the Invincibles partnership.
Great player. Even better signing.