Such is the animosity between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal that very few players have directly crossed the North London divide.
Sol Campbell’s decision to run his contract down at Spurs and join their North London rivals in 2001, to this day, makes the central defender one of the most hated figures among the Tottenham fan base.
However, it turns out that Campbell was not the first transfer in which the Gunners seemingly got one over on Spurs.
talkSPORT have now revealed that Arsenal also stole former midfielder Emmanuel Petit from right under Tottenham’s noses, just as he was about to complete a transfer to the Lilywhites.
Petit went on to become a legend at Highbury but it is revealed that the Frenchman was discussing a potential move to White Hart Lane with then Spurs chairman, Alan Sugar in the summer of 1997.
Arsenal reportedly heard about the meeting and asked Petit not to sign anything until he heard Arsene Wenger’s pitch.
It is revealed that Petit then asked Sugar for time to think about the offer at his hotel and the former Spurs chairman paid for the midfielder’s taxi.
However, the World Cup winner reportedly rerouted the taxi to Wenger’s house, where he agreed on a £3.5m deal.
Spurs Web Opinion
Arsenal used to always have a big pull for French players when Wenger was in charge, which is why they often ended up beating Spurs to promising talents from the Ligue 1 market. This smart recruitment strategy was central to Wenger’s success at Arsenal. In fact, one of the reasons Levy brought Damien Comolli to Spurs in 2005 was to help the club compete with the Gunners in the French market. To be fair to Comolli, we did complete some deals that represented decent value for money (Benoit Assou Ekotto, Teemu Tainio, Didier Zokora, Younes Kaboul etc).
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