Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain became just the fifth Arsenal player to move to Liverpool. So who were the other four?
Not many players make the move from Arsenal to Liverpool.
That may have simply been down to the proximity of the two teams in the Premier League table. Arsenal spent the late 90s and much of the 2000s finishing above Liverpool, and it’s only in the last few years that the positions have been reversed. Transfers between rival clubs are rare; nobody wants to strengthen a rival team in normal circumstances.
Another factor in the lack of business between the clubs could have been Arsenal’s ill-fated pursuit of Luis Suarez in 2013. The fallout from Arsenal’s attempts to activate a release clause strained the relationship between the clubs. If reports were to be believed, Arsenal didn’t even want to do business with Liverpool over Chamberlain despite the money that was on offer.
That deal eventually happened, making Chamberlain the fifth player to make the switch from London to Merseyside.
You have to go back 26 years for the fourth player: a certain Michael Thomas, who made the move for £1.5m in December 1991. Thomas made his name at Arsenal by scoring the goal that won Arsenal the title at Anfield 1989, before George Graham opted to let him go.
Thomas made 124 appearances for Liverpool, but struggled with injuries and was mostly used as cover for Jamie Redknapp and John Barnes. Chamberlain could well end up having a similar fate.
You have to go back a few more years to find the other three players. Ray Kennedy made 158 appearances for Arsenal before moving up north to Liverpool in 1974 for a club record £200,000. Kenney had great success at Liverpool, making 275 appearances and winning three European Cups. He remained there until 1982 before making the move to Swansea.
Before Kennedy was Geoff Strong. Strong scored 69 games in 125 appearances for Arsenal before moving to Liverpool in 1964. He spent six years at Anfield, making 155 appearances and winning a world cup under manager Bill Shankly.
Finally, there’s Harry Storer, who joined Liverpool in 1895. Storer was from an era where footballers also played cricket, and played in goal for Liverpool for four years before eventually leaving in 1901.
Chamberlain, then, has quite a bit to live up to. The side he’s joining isn’t as good nor as storied as Liverpool sides of the 60s and 70s. For Arsenal’s sake, we hope that remains the case for many more years to come.