Aubameyang the latest to cross Chelsea-Arsenal, who are the first to do it before him?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang becomes the latest former Arsenal player to sign for Chelsea but who are the first before him?

Chelsea have completed the signing of Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona in a player-plus-cash deal.

After weeks of negotiations and discussions, both clubs finally reached an agreement that would see Chelsea pay £12 million to Barcelona for Aubameyang while also sending Spanish full-back Marcos Alonso in the other direction.

Aubameyang only joined Barcelona in January having left Arsenal as a free agent after four years at the club, making Chelsea his third club in the last seven months.

It also makes Aubameyang the 12th player to play for both Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League era, but only the sixth to join Chelsea having already played for Arsenal, here are the other five in order of how it happened.

Emmanuel Petit

French midfielder Emmanuel Petit joined Arsenal in 1997 as a 26-year-old and had three successful years in which he won two trophies, Premier League and FA Cup (both in his first season) and scored 11 goals in 116 total appearances for the Gunners.

After one year in Barcelona which didn’t go according to plan, Petit was back in England but this time with Chelsea who signed him for £7.5 million in 2001.

Petit would go on to play 76 games in three seasons at Chelsea scoring three goals and retiring afterwards.

Ashley Cole

In the summer of 2006, Ashley Cole became the first player to join Chelsea directly from Arsenal in the Premier League era in a controversial transfer that saw Chelsea pay £5 million and sent William Gallas the other way in a player-plus-cash deal.

Cole would go on to rubberstamp himself as one of the best players in Chelsea history with 338 appearances in eight seasons for the club.

Even though he did win five trophies at Arsenal, Ashley Cole was more successful at Chelsea with eight trophies including the UEFA Champions League.

Nicolas Anelka

French striker Nicolas Anelka is known as football’s ultimate journeyman and his history with Arsenal and Chelsea exemplifies that as there were nine years and six different clubs between his time for the two London giants in focus.

Anelka was an Arsenal player between 1996 and 1999 and won the Premier League and FA Cup but it was at Chelsea where he enjoyed the major success of his career.

Anelka scored 59 goals in 184 games for Chelsea between 2007 and 2012, winning one Premier League and two FA Cup titles but sadly leaving the club just six months before they won the Champions League.

Cesc Fabregas

Having played 303 games between 2003 and 2011 for the club, there is no doubt that Cesc Fabregas is an Arsenal legend.

Although his legendary status may be contested by Gunners faithful as the Spanish midfielder went on to have a successful five-year spell as a Chelsea player after three years in Barcelona.

Between 2014 and 2019, Fabregas became a fan favourite at Chelsea where he played 198 games and won five trophies compared to just one at Arsenal.


Willian, who recently signed for local rivals Fulham after terminating his contract with Corinthians, ended an unhappy 12-month stint at Arsenal by terminating his contract with the Gunners.

The 34-year-old spent seven trophy-laden years with Chelsea, before moving to Arsenal on a free transfer two years ago.

Petr Cech

Four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and Champions League and Europa League winners’ medals for good measure, Cech secured Chelsea legendary status in 11 trophy-laden seasons at Stamford Bridge.

The emergence of Thibaut Courtois limited his first-team appearances at Stamford Bridge and so Cech opted to join Arsenal for £10m in 2015.

William Gallas

The Frenchman made an acrimonious switch to Arsenal as part of the deal which saw Cole move in the opposite direction, with Chelsea even claiming that the defender had refused to play for the club, before threatening to score an own goal if selected, in order to push through his transfer to the Emirates.

Gallas had played an integral role in Chelsea’s first two Premier League title-winning campaigns and that experience made him a natural successor as captain when Thierry Henry left for Barcelona in 2007.

In his first season as captain, Gallas guided the Gunners to arguably their best Premier League title challenge since they were last crowned champions in 2004, but they missed out to Manchester United.

However, that was the closest Gallas came to silverware and he would go on to be stripped of the captaincy after a dressing room bust-up which eventually led to him leaving for Tottenham in 2010.

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud followed Ashley Cole’s footsteps as the only other player to join Chelsea directly from Arsenal having made the switch in January 2018.

Giroud’s five and half seasons at Arsenal generates mixed feelings but he did score 105 goals in 253 games, winning three FA Cups for his troubles.

He managed 39 goals in 119 games for Chelsea and became a cult hero in his three and half seasons at Stamford Bridge, winning three trophies including the Champions League and Europa League.

David Luiz

David Luiz is one of the most colourful defenders in Premier League history, having turned out for both Arsenal and Chelsea in a career that has also seen him play for Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain.

Noted for his distinctive haircut and notorious for making cheap errors, which overshadowed an otherwise fine defensive game, Luiz was released by Arsenal at the end of the 2020/21 season.

Lassana Diarra

The France international moved to the Emirates on Deadline Day in 2007 but, just as he had during the three previous seasons at Chelsea, he struggled to nail down a regular first-team spot.

After five months and 13 appearances in all competitions, Diarra moved to Portsmouth in the January transfer window and was part of the squad that won the 2008 FA Cup.

Yossi Benayoun

Like Diarra, Benayoun’s search for regular first-team opportunities saw him trade Chelsea for Arsenal.

A loan deal for the duration of the 2011/12 season yielded 25 appearances and six goals for the Israel international before he returned to Stamford Bridge and won the Europa League in 2013.

Steve Sidwell

Started his senior career at Arsenal in 2001, but after failing to break into their first team, the midfielder joined Reading two years later, before then signing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2007.

David Rocastle

The midfielder featured for the Gunners between 1985 and 1992 and after playing for Leeds United and Man City, he signed for Chelsea in 1994, where he spent four years.

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