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Sol Campbell thinks the Arsenal 'Invincibles' squad would cost over £1 billion today

The former Gunners defender believes the 2004 team would be better than any current team.

Campbell played 146 games for Arsenal over two spells.
Campbell played 146 games for Arsenal over two spells.

SOL CAMPBELL HAS claimed that Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ squad would cost over £1 billion in today’s transfer market. The Gunners won the Premier League in 2003-04 without losing a single match, winning 26 and drawing 12 of their 38 games to finish 11 points ahead of second-placed Chelsea.

And Campbell believes assembling a squad of such quality in 2014 would cost an astronomical fee, with icons like Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires.

“Would our team be the best today? Oh yeah,” he told the London Evening Standard. “You look back at the team we had and you think it would cost more than £1b to buy those players now. Easy, £1bn.

“We had Thierry doing his stuff, Dennis causing problems and scoring goals. Patrick was at his best, Robert could thread passes through the eye of a needle. We had Fredrik Ljungberg, Jens Lehmann, Ashley Cole, myself, Kolo Toure, Lauren.

“The amazing thing was that we didn’t even cost that much. Thierry was £11million, Dennis £7.5m, Pires £6m, Ljungberg £3m, Lauren £7.2m, Gilberto Silva £4.5m, Lehmann £2m.

“I moved on a free, Kolo Toure cost £150,000, Ashley Cole came through the ranks, Patrick was £3.5m. Imagine what all those players would cost today.”

No team has matched Arsenal’s unbeaten season since, but Campbell believes current Premier League leaders Chelsea could emulate what the Gunners achieved. Jose Mourinho’s side have won seven and drawn one of their opening eight games this season, and Campbell believes the Blues “have the best team” in England.

“You have to have the team, and they do,” Campbell added. “The best team have always got a chance but it might still go against you. A ricochet here or there can end the run or keep it going. They are fine lines.

“Even if you have the best players and manager, there are certain things you can’t control. “There were a few games that season where we came off the pitch and thought, ‘how did we get through that?’ At the time, I didn’t realise how incredible it was.”

Campbell believes the impressive form shown by Chelsea is largely down to their well-stocked cash reserves, though he concedes the “balance of power has moved to west London” in recent years. ”

Arsenal are still hanging in there but at Chelsea the purse is just that bit bigger, and it opens more avenues,” he added. “The north London teams have to work with restrictions. They can buy players but there isn’t the financial power of Chelsea.”

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