Kenny Sansom: Arsenal left back and England’s most capped defender

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Some of this Curtis Davies transfer talk reminds me of the Kenny Sansom transfer from Crystal Palace to Arsenal in 1980. Palace was offered a bid of one million pounds for Sansom in the summer using striker Clive Allen as bait (this was unusual, as Allen was an equally prized young player and had only joined Arsenal weeks earlier, and had yet to play for the club).
Kenny Sansom’s transfer has interesting parallels to the deal that Arsenal is offering to the Baggies for Curtis Davies dangling Walcott as bait. Like Davies, Sansom was just about 16 when he first played for Crystal Palace. In 1980 when he joined the Gunners, he was just 21.
Palace accepted the bid and Sansom left for Highbury. The same summer he had starred for England in the 1980 European Championships in Italy, though England did not make progress. Sansom had made his debut the previous year in a goalless draw against Wales.
Arsenal’s 80’s decade was pretty mixed with the club really going no places but Sansom was a fixture in the England side and was universally acknowledged for his great tackling abilities, excellent crosses, and durability. Sansom gave way to Nigel Winterburn who played 13 seasons for Arsenal. Kenny Sansom played 9 years for Arsenal and won 86 caps for England, the most for a full back. Only Gary Neville comes close to the mark with 81 caps so far.

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