Arsenal fans nearly imploded when news filtered out that Hector Bellerin was fluttering his eyelashes at Manchester City’s dreamboat new boss Pep Guardiola.
According to reports from The Mirror, Bellerin has been made aware of Pep’s interest via an intermediary and is welcoming the interest. On another note, when did football transfers become like teenage discos?
Pep said that City’s current right-backs, former Arsenal man Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta, that they are no longer required. Pep sees Bellerin, a fellow Barcelona graduate, as the perfect attack-minded defender for his pressing system.
If Bellerin were to move to Manchester City he’d follow in the footsteps of an illustrious group of former Gooners turned Citizens. And Emmanuel Adebayor.
Step forward Niall Quinn. The gangly Irish striker proved to be a little bit of a trailblazer when he moved from Arsenal to Manchester City. A switch also made by Paul Dickov, who swapped North London for the blue half of Manchester in 1996.
Quite the opposite to other names on this list, Quinn made the move because of a lack of first team opportunities instead of well, a lack of trophies.
Sorry, Arsenal fans.
The Irishman played for Arsenal for seven years between 1983 and 1990 before Manchester City boss Howard Kendall snapped up the striker for £800,000.
The Ivorian signed for Arsenal right before their Invincible season where the North Londoners, with Toure and Sol Campbell at the back, went the whole of 2003/2004 term unbeaten.
Toure joined Arsenal in 2002 as an attacking midfielder and had a trial game with the club prior to signing. Ray Parlour later revealed in the book Arsene Wenger: The Inside Story of Arsenal Under Wenger that Kolo took out Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and boss Wenger in the game.
Parlour explained: “I remember the ball was rolled into Thierry Henry and Kole Toure, from nowhere, smashed into him from behind.
“Wenger was shouting: ‘Kolo, what are you doing? Don’t tackle!’ The next minute, the ball was into Dennis Bergkamp and Kolo did exactly the same… Anyway, Wenger said: ‘No more tackling.’
“So next thing you know, Kolo Toure took him [Wenger] out with a two-footed tackle! All you could hear was Wenger screaming.”
The Ivorian certainly made an impression, good enough to be signed in 2002 and the move turned out be an astute one as he made a profit of £14 million when he was sold to Manchester City seven years later.
The Togolese striker has done the rounds at many different clubs in the Premier League, never really leaving a good impression with any.
His stint at Arsenal followed that same theme. From January 2006 to July 2009 was a mixed bag – he was sent off in the 2007 League Cup final loss to Chelsea after allegedly punching Frank Lampard. But the tall striker, with a resemblance to former Arsenal front man Kanu, was a fan favourite for a time netting 46 goals in 104 games for Arsenal.
He ruined any rapport with the North London faithful when, in his first match against Arsenal since moving to new club Manchester City, he ran the length of the pitch to celebrate wildly in front of the Arsenal fans.
The match was also bad tempered for other reasons with Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, accusing Adebayor of stamping on them and kicking them during the game.
Nasri joined Arsenal in the summer of 2008 after the European Championships. The young Frenchman signed on the dotted line from Marseille with Arsenal paying a reported £12 million.
The creative midfielder forged a formidable partnership with Cesc Fabregas and was able to find the net himself, too, with the former Arsenal favourite netting 18 times in 86 games.
Nasri got itchy feet at the Emirates, which was compounded by the loss of players like Fabregas and Adebayor – so Nasri decided he wanted out.
He completed his move on August 24, 2011, signing for a reported £25 million on a four-year contract.
The most infamous part of this story is post-Nasri’s league win with Manchester City in his first season with the club in 2012.
His motives for moving to Manchester City were questioned with many Arsenal fans believing he chased the money instead of glory.
Nasri hit back in a very cruel way. “They should celebrate their third-place achievement and I will focus on winning titles,” he said, presumably dousing petrol on a bridge then setting it alight.
Burn Samir, burn indeed.
Bacary Sagna could be ousted from Manchester City by Hector Bellerin, the latest man to make the jump from Arsenal to City.
Sagna made his exit from Arsenal on June 13, 2014 when the French international ran down his contract and both parties agreed that he probably wouldn’t be getting game time at the Gooners. He decided to make the move with Manuel Pellegrini more then happy to sign him to give competition to existing right-back Pablo Zabaleta.
Sagna has yet to piss off Arsenal to any great extent, but let’s give him time.
The man who replaced Ashley Cole at Arsenal was a little known French left-back called Gael Clichy. He turned out to be a key fixture in the Arsenal team that went very close to winning the Champions League.
Bought for £250,000 from Cannes, the young left-back became another Arsenal defender disillusioned with the lack of trophies and up sticks for the blue revolution in the summer of 2011 for a fee of £7 million.
His parting comments to the Arsenal faithful were almost as cutting as Nasri’s.
“It got to a point for me where I didn’t just want to challenge for the titles only to be disappointed in the final weeks of the season. I wanted to play for a club that would win them.”
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran