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Premiership transfer history: Arsenal and Everton

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The first piece of transfer business between Arsenal and Everton in the Premier League era was the £2m signing by the Gunners of central defender Martin Keown in February 1993.

It marked a return to Highbury for the former Arsenal apprentice and Keown made the most of his second chance, spending over a decade in North London and making over 400 appearances for the club.

Anders Limpar made the move in the opposite direction for a fee of £1.6m in March 1994 after falling out with Arsenal manager George Graham.

The Swede was the kind of player that Everton fans always had time for and always will after playing a key role in their 1995 FA Cup triumph when he set up goals in both the semi-final and final. It was mainly downhill after that as Limpar's inconsistency saw him out of favour with another manager, this time Joe Royle and he moved quietly off to Birmingham City in January 1997.

Six years elapsed before the next London to Merseyside deal. Midfielder Stephen Hughes making a £3m move to Goodison Park in March 2000.

Hughes had been tipped for big things after coming through the ranks at Arsenal but struggled to make the first-team under Arsene Wenger before moving north.

After a bright(ish) start at Everton he fell out of favour and also suffered terribly with injuries over a long period, moving on quickly from Everton to Watford and then Charlton before reviving his career at Coventry City.

The biggest deal between the two clubs occured in June 2001 when Francis Jeffers made an £8m move to Highbury. Aged just 20 when he made the move, Jeffers had already scored 18 league goals for Everton but often cut a miserable figure on the field in North London as he failed to adapt to life in Arsene Wenger's side.

He started just four league games for the club and aside from a prolific spell on loan at Ipswich last season has never recaptured his early form (including during a loan return to Everton in 2003/04). Jeffers is currently at Sheffield Wednesday.

The last deal to date saw Richard Wright join David Moyes' side for £3.5m in July 2002. A £6m signing by Arsenal, the goalkeeper is another who has failed to live up to the promise of his early years (Wright was 23 when he joined Arsenal and had already made nearly 300 appearances for Ipswich).

The form of veteran goalkeepers David Seaman at Arsenal and then Nigel Martyn at Everton restricted Wright's chances and upon the expiry of his contract this summer he joined West Ham United.

Total spent: Arsenal £10m; Everton £8.1m

Verdict: Just about even. In hindsight the £8m that Everton received for Jeffers was a massive amount (although who knows if he would have prospered if had stayed at Goodison) and the 'fox in the box' will always be seen as one of the few mistakes Arsene Wenger has made at Arsenal.

That is balanced out however by the way that Wenger made Martin Keown into one of the most-respected defenders of his generation, making the £2m fee paid by George Graham look like superb value for money.


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