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Francis Jeffers, Thierry Henry and More – Most Bizarre Transfers in Arsenal’s History

Player Transfers are one of the most exciting things about Club football. Coaches and players attach a high degree of importance to their club’s activities in the transfer market as it is usually a significant determinant of their team’s performance and success. In fact, fans who wager on sportsbooks like Parimatch consider transfers as one of the most critical factors that determine match results. Overall, the goal of every football club is to buy the best players at the lowest price possible while finding the best deals for the ones they want to sell.

Arsenal FC is one of the most successful football clubs in the English Premier League, with a rich history of winning trophies and producing top-class players. However, over the years, Arsenal have also seen some shocking transfers, where fans were left stunned by the decisions made by the club’s management. In this blog post, we’ll closely examine some of the most shocking Arsenal transfers of all time.

Francis Jeffers (£13.5 million from Everton, 2001)

Francis Jeffers signed for Arsenal on 14 June 2001, in a whopping £13.5 million deal. Before the signing, the 22-year-old had drawn the attention of many top teams worldwide after he delivered a stellar performance, scoring 18 goals in 55 appearances for the Merseyside club.

His impressive performances eventually caught the eyes of Arsene Wenger, who made sure to snap up the transfer the following season. The signing was greeted with excitement from the fans as the player was considered to be the next big thing at the moment.

Francis Jeffers
Image Obtained via

Jeffers was known for his sharp attacking instinct, which earned him the cameo “fox in the box.” However, the transfer did not work out, as the centre-forward failed to live up to his potential. His chances of shinning in the team were mainly hampered by successive injuries, which kept him on the sidelines.

In addition, the then-Arsenal team was also star-studded, with big names like Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp leading the team’s attacking line. This also limited Jeffers’ playing time, as he was mostly considered surplus to requirement. He ended up featuring in only 39 matches for the club, scoring only eight goals.

Park Chu-Young (£5.5m from AS Monaco, 2011)

This is perhaps one of the most strangest transfers in the club’s history. Arsene Wenger pulled off a hijacked deal that saw Park Chu-young move to the club in a deal worth £5 million. The South Korean attacker reportedly agreed on a deal with Lille but changed his mind at the last minute upon hearing news of Arsenal’s interest.

The team’s then-manager, Arsene Wenger, claimed that the player would be a needed quality addition and make a considerable contribution to the team’s attacking needs. However, contrary to these expectations, he only went on to make only seven appearances in all competitions for the club, most of which were in cup matches.

Jermaine Pennant (£2 million from Notts County)

One of the brightest young prospects in English football, Jermaine Pennant, was only 15 years old when Arsenal signed him from Notts County in a deal worth £2 million in 1999. The young attacker’s future looked bright when he joined the club, as he displayed brilliant footballing skills at a very young age.

Unfortunately, the youngster could not live up to his potential as he only featured in 12 league matches at the club. There was no doubting his skill, but his behavior left so much to be desired as he was always caught up in strings of disciplinary problems throughout his six years stay at the club.

Robin van Persie to Manchester United (2012)

Shocking transfers at Arsenal are not limited to disappointing signings from other clubs but also the unexpected exit of some major players. One such is Robin van Persie’s controversial departure to Manchester United in 2012, a move which left the Gunners fans shocked and angry.

At the time, the Dutchman was the club’s captain and had just finished the best season of his career, scoring 30 goals in 38 league appearances. He was the talisman of Arsenal’s attack and was widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world.

Robin van Persie
Image Obtained via Just Arsenal

However, after disagreeing on a new contract with the Gunners, Van Persie moved to Old Trafford for a reported fee of £24 million. The decision left Arsenal fans stunned and angry, with many feeling that the club had let one of their best players go to a direct rival. Also, his departure felt like a betrayal to many fans, who thought he should have stayed loyal to the club that had given him so much.

Thierry Henry to Barcelona (2007)

Thierry Henry’s move to Barcelona in 2007 was another shocking transfer in Arsenal’s history. The French striker had been the Gunners’ talisman for eight seasons, scoring 226 goals in 369 appearances and helping the club win two Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

The Frenchman was one of the best players in the world at the time, and his departure left a massive void in Arsenal’s attacking line-up. However, the move to Barcelona was surprising for many reasons, not least because it was unexpected and came out of the blue.

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Henry’s departure was not only shocking because of his importance to Arsenal but also because of his age. At 29-years-old, he was still in his prime, and many fans expected him to retire from the club. However, when Barcelona came calling, Henry was tempted by the prospect of playing for one of the best teams in the world.

The transfer fee was also a surprise. Barcelona paid around £16 million for Henry, which was considered a bargain for a player of his quality. In comparison, Manchester United paid £30 million for Dimitar Berbatov in the same transfer window.


Arsenal has had its fair share of shocking transfers over the years, from some of its most talented players leaving the club out of the blue to disappointing signings from other clubs. However, the club has had more hits than misses in its history of transfers and remains one of the most successful football clubs in English Premier League history.

The post Francis Jeffers, Thierry Henry and More – Most Bizarre Transfers in Arsenal’s History appeared first on Arsedevils.

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Francis Jeffers, Thierry Henry and More – Most Bizarre Transfers in Arsenal’s History


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