'Apart from': Cascarino says there's only two Arsenal players Chelsea would consider signing

Tony Cascarino believed that Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka were the only Arsenal stars that Chelsea would even debate adding to their squad.

Writing for the Times, Cascarino depicted the disparity between the London rivals by the number of players each side might ponder taking from the other.

It’s fair to say that Arsenal would gladly take the majority of Chelsea’s group, whilst the feeling is probably not reciprocated.

The Blues have assembled quite a platoon in the past few years, aided by Roman Abramovich’s seemingly bottomless treasure chest.

Photo by Alex Caparros – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

His latest expensive jewel comes in the form of Romelu Lukaku, who could make his second debut against Arsenal on Sunday.

Last summer, Abramovich splashed over £200m on seven new recruits, two of which were free signings.

Even before this latest lavish spending spree, he bought Christian Pulisic for £58m (BBC), Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71m (BBC) and Jorginho for £50m (Sky Sports).   

Sprinkle on the rise of Mason Mount, Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevoh Chalobah from the academy, Chelsea are covered by an internationally renowned star in virtually every position.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Cascarino casts doubts

Arsenal have tried to keep up with their capital city enemies.

Acquiring Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion for £50m (Sky Sports) was a decent coop, to accompany new boy Martin Odegaard and £17.2m (BBC) Albert Sambi Lokonga.  

They also emulated Chelsea by promoting young talents like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to first-team prowess.

However, Cascarino admitted he couldn’t see the Blues having much desire to steal from their rivals.

“The difference between the two clubs in 2021 could not be starker,” said the former Chelsea forward.

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“When I played at Chelsea between 1992 and 1994, Arsenal set the standards as an organisation.

“Chelsea have been incredibly ambitious in the transfer market during the Roman Abramovich era, while Arsenal have gone in the opposite direction.

“The roles have pretty much reversed: since 2004 Chelsea have won every major club honour as Arsenal have picked up five FA Cups.

“Since Ashley Cole’s move to Chelsea in 2006, they have lost a number of players when they have been at their best and strengthened their rivals as a result.

“Now, apart from perhaps Tierney or Saka, it is difficult to see Chelsea wanting any of Arsenal’s best players.

“In every other position, there is a huge gulf between the two clubs.”

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.