Premier League’s top 10 most controversial moves as Arsenal star takes top spot

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Football transfers can often divide opinion.

Premier League sides will strengthen their sides each season, though certain moves standout more than others.

A number of players over the years have left fans furious after jumping ship to sign for a rival team, fully aware of the backlash that would soon be coming their way.

Certain stars have acted professionally in this situation while others have only created more tension by poking fun at their former club.

Daily Star Sport have rounded up the ten most controversial moves of the Premier League era

10: Andy Cole – Newcastle to Man Utd

Andy Cole sealed a controversial switch to Manchester United in January 1995 for a then British transfer record deal worth £7m.

The striker had become an instant hit at St James' Park after scoring 68 goals in 84 appearances, but left to sign for United.

His move was not viewed well by Newcastle fans, and Cole admitted last year that the angry reaction to his transfer still works him up

“It’s always annoyed me. I wasn’t looking to leave Newcastle, I was very happy there," he told the Manchester United podcast.

9: Fabian Delph – Aston Villa to Man City

Fabian Delph frustrated Aston Villa fans in 2015 after expressing his commitment to the club, only to leave a matter of months later.

The English midfielder agreed a new deal with the West Midlands club in 2015, claiming he would be at Villa "for the long run."

"I am a loyal person and committing my future will hopefully show everybody what type of guy I am,” said Delph after extending his stay at Villa Park.

He added: “I feel like this is me – I love the club, I love being here and I want to put 100% into everything I do here. This is my club and I want to be here. That’s why I am committing my future.

“There was no way I was going to bail out. I am here for the long run.”

He later joined Man City in the summer for £8m.

8: Eric Cantona – Leeds to Man Utd

Cantona was sold by Leeds to rivals Manchester United in 1992, months after helping the Whites to the First Division title.

The Frenchman fell out with manager Howard Wilkinson and parted ways with Leeds as a result.

Cantona went on to become an icon at United, helping the club to a number of trophies.

7: Raheem Sterling – Liverpool to Man City

Raheem Sterling refused to travel on Liverpool's pre-season tour in 2015 and failed to report to first-team training as he attempted to engineer a move away from Anfield.

Sterling eventually got his wish as he completed a £50m transfer to Man City – a move many Reds feel was driven by money.

6: Wayne Rooney – Everton to Man Utd

Which player exit should be considered the most controversial? Comment below.

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Wayne Rooney made a name for himself from an early age at Everton, resulting in widespread interest.

It was Man United who signed the striker, causing the Toffees to lose one of their most promising talents.

Everton supporters did not take well to this news and displayed 'Judas' banners after Rooney left the club.

5: Ashley Cole – Arsenal to Chelsea

Ashley Cole developed the nickname "Cashley Cole" soon after his transfer to Chelsea in 2006.

Cole agreed a one-year extension with the Gunners in 2005, keeping him at the club until 2008, but signed for the Blues one year later.

Chelsea held secret talks with the left-back over a move and eventually got their man, offering the former England international a significant wage increase.

4: Emmanuel Adebayor – Arsenal to Man City

One of the many players to swap Arsenal for Man City over the years. Emmanuel Adebayor's switch was comfortably the most controversial, however.

The Togolese striker showed little respect to the Gunners after completing his move, stating: "The way the fans behaved towards me was not nice at all,"

"I scored 30 goals in a season – it's not my fault that Milan, Barcelona or Real Madrid wanted to sign me."

Adebayor famously sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Arsenal supporters, in his first reunion with his former side.

3: Robin van Persie – Arsenal to Man Utd

A transfer move that still doesn't sit right with many Arsenal fans.

Robin van Persie left the Gunners in 2012 for rivals Man United, causing huge tension between the two clubs.

The Dutch striker had become a fan-favourite at the Emirates but soon tarnished his reputation with this move.

Van Persie described the move as "the perfect match" and helped the Red Devils to the league title in his first season.

2: Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea

Chelsea broke the British transfer record in 2011 after spending £50m to bring Fernando Torres to Stamford Bridge.

The Spanish striker had been the Reds' talisman for three-and-a-half years prior to his switch and was accused of betraying the club for financial reasons.

Liverpool's rivalry with Chelsea also made this an unpopular move and resulted in the forward receiving a hostile reception in the meetings that followed between the sides.

1: Sol Campbell – Tottenham to Arsenal

One of the most controversial moves of all-time.

Sol Campbell swapped Tottenham Hotspur for Arsenal in 2001, much to the disgust of Spurs supporters.

The English defender reassured fans that he wouldn't be leaving White Hart Lane, after announcing "I'm staying" in a post-match interview when quizzed on his future.

But Campbell allowed his contract at the club to run down as he joined Spurs' bitter rivals.

His transfer left even more of a sour taste after claiming two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners.

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