Arsenal: 30 Greatest Transfers In The Past 30 Years

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Arsenal have bought and sold legends and flops alike throughout the past 30 years. Here are our picks for the 30 greatest Arsenal transfers since 1985.


By Ronnie Macdonald (Flickr: Arsenal Stadium – The Emirates 2) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Since 1985, Arsenal have gone from mediocre, to top, to mediocre again, and now they contend for the Premiership’s top spot. The teams have varied from manager to manager, from personnel to playing style, as is the case when examining 30 years of just about anything.

In the past, the Gunners have purchased young players and turned them into a team of legends. Recently, they have been doing the opposite: bringing in top players for large fees in an attempt to build a world-class team.

The transfer policy has changed over 30 years, and changed even more still under Arsene Wenger. Prior to 2002-03, it was building a team around their core pieces. Now, while it maintains some of the key elements, it has varied slightly.

Older players that were key in the Arsenal spine during their title wins left the club, and the squad needed revitalizing. However, building the Emirates Stadium in 2006 meant that they had to sell their best players to recoup funds for their club. Now that the debt has been brought down, that era is over.

The stars have been brought in from overseas, and the young players who were brought through the academy have started to flourish around them. The team looks nearly complete, thanks to the recent transfers in of Alexis Sanchez, Petr Cech and Mesut Ozil. Those three players stand as some great acquisitions, but here is the list of Arsenal’s 30 Greatest Transfers Since 1985.

Since it is the 30 greatest transfers, we figured it would be best to choose from the transfers from the past 30 years, (Honestly, due to a lack of accurate records, Arsenal’s transfers prior to 1985 have been harder to find statistics about.)

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