Rival clubs barely choose to do player transfers with each other and Arsenal-Chelsea are not any different.
However, in recent years, some players have broken the rivalry by signing for the other side of London, either on the red side or the blue corner.
The likes of Steve Sidwell, Yossi Benayoun, Nicholas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit, Cesc Fabregas among others can be mentioned in these type of switches.
With reports that Willian’s move to Arsenal from Chelsea imminent, here is a look at the top 5 players to cross from one side of London to the other.
The left-back is the first player to leave Arsenal directly to Chelsea in a transfer saga that spanned the summer of 2005.
After a year of blockbuster stories involving fines to Chelsea and Ashley Cole, the move finally happened in 2006 summer for an initial fee of £5million.
Cole’s move remains justified as he won eight major trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge, including the Premier League, four FA Cups, the Champions League, Europa League, and League Cup with the Blues.
Looking back on his controversial decision to join Chelsea, though, Cole said he had no regrets when speaking on Sky Sports in February 2020: “I was a little bit hot-headed and didn’t realize what I was doing at the time as well, but I don’t regret it. When I look back now, it was something maybe that was meant to happen.”
The French defender joined the North London club in a rancorous switch from Chelsea, in a deal which also saw youngster, Ashley Cole join the Blues.
It was reported that the centre-back had refused to play for Chelsea before threatening to score an own goal if he was selected to play in a game by Jose Mourinho.
Gallas had however been a key member of Chelsea, winning two Premier League trophies, a League Cup and Community Shield.
His stint at Chelsea made him a natural leader and went to captain The Gunners in the 2008 season where they came closest to securing a league trophy since 2004 but lost it 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.
After an illustrious 11 seasons with Chelsea, the Czech Republic international found his way to Arsenal as he lost his spot to Thibaut Courtois.
The emergence of the Belgian goalkeeper meant limited game time for Petr Čech and thus joined The Gunners for £10million in 2015.
“Life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it will,” he said of his decision to move across the capital. “It became clear that my situation would not improve and – as I know I am not at the stage of my career where I want to be on the bench – I made my decision to move and look for new challenges.”
The capture meant a more fierce rivalry between the two superpowers in London.
The Champions League with Chelsea will then help his side win the 2015 Community Shield, and 2017 FA Cup, beating the Blues in both games.
He, however, hang his gloves from the game of football in 2019 after losing 4-1 against London rivals, Chelsea in the Europa League at Baku.
After Arsene Wenger’s final season at the helm of affairs at Arsenal, Olivier Giroud left the club to London rivals, Chelsea.
The move was a triangular move which involved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud, playing time was at the heart of things for the Frenchman.
Olivier Giroud will later join Chelsea, Batshuayi to Borussia Dortmund and Aubameyang to Arsenal.
According to Wenger, Giroud joined Chelsea to get enough playtime since he would have been deputy to the Gabonese international.
“It was difficult on the family side for him to leave London. It was difficult to turn down (Chelsea’s offer) just because it is an opponent.
“Olivier wanted more playing time – he wants as well to go to the World Cup. That is why I opened the door.”
After securing the switch to Chelsea, Olivier Giroud acknowledged that Chelsea has been one of the clubs with many trophies.
“Chelsea is one of the biggest teams in the Premier League – they have won maybe the most trophies in the last six or seven years. It’s a massive club,” said Giroud of his decision to join the Blues.
Three-and-a-half-years on, however, and with World Cup, FA Cup and Europa League winners’ medals to his name, Giroud has been proved right.
The summer of 2018 saw David Luiz switch camps to the red side of London in £8 million.
With Arsenal facing a defensive crisis, Unai Emery brought in David Luiz to help solve their woes at the back.
The Brazil international made 248 appearances for the Blues across two spells with the club, during which time he won two Europa Leagues trophies, the Champions League and the Premier League, while also becoming the only player in the club’s history to have played in three European trophy final victories.
Despite having a shaky start to the 2019/2020 season, Luiz ended up winning the FA Cup, beating his former employers 2-1 in an empty Wembley Stadium.