Wednesday 03 July 2013

On this day in 2001: Sol Campbell signs for the Gunners

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall defender's shock move across North London

  • Sol Campbell's first goal for Arsenal came against Chelsea in December 2001

  • The centre-half won two Barclays Premier League titles at Arsenal

  • Campbell scores against Barcelona in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day 3 July 2001 - Sol Campbell swaps Tottenham for Arsenal

Centre-half Sol Campbell made his surprise move across London as he left Tottenham Hotspur for rivals Arsenal on a free transfer.

The then 26-year-old joined the Gunners on a free transfer after spending nine years at White Hart Lane. Campbell reportedly had offers from Europe but said he wanted to stay in the Barclays Premier League to keep in the mind of England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"I've made my decision and I just hope people respect it"
Sol Campbell

"I was very keen to stay in the Premiership," he said. "Sven-Goran Eriksson is here and the majority of games he sees are here in England.

"I spent a lot of years at Tottenham and while I was there I played my heart out and tried everything to help move the team in the right direction. But the time finally came to make a decision to move on. I've made my decision and I just hope people respect it."

Campbell had a successful time at Arsenal, winning the League and FA Cup Double in his first season at Highbury while he was also part of the 'Invincibles' side that won the title in 2003/04 by going through the entire season unbeaten.

He won the FA Cup three times in total while at Arsenal and scored the opening goal in the UEFA Champions League final in 2006, which his side eventually lost 2-1 to Barcelona.

Campbell left Arsenal in the summer of that year and after spells at Portsmouth, where he won the FA Cup in 2008, and Notts County, he returned to the Gunners for the second half of the 2009/10 season.

He made a total of 146 League appearances for Arsenal in his two spells with the club, scoring eight goals.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember the day in 2001 when Sol Campbell left Tottenham to join Arsenal