PREMIER League football stars are hiring ex-SAS troops and attack dogs amid robbery fears after two Arsenal players were targeted by a knife-wielding gang.
Some are forking out six figures on security teams with one well-known former England international spending £250,000 a year.
Others are employing experts to watch over their children on the school run while some are being given round-the-clock personal protection.
It comes after Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were targeted on yobs in North London last month.
Bosnian international defender Kolasinac heroically fought off the knife-wielding attackers with his bare hands.
Fans who witnessed the dramatic CCTV footage sent in floods of supportive messages but the pair found themselves in the middle of a gang war.
The London mob who attempted to steal their expensive watches in North London are at odds with a rival Eastern European gang, unknown to the footballers, who have vowed to ward off further attacks.
Ozil has now hired guard dogs to protect his £9million home throughout the night after being caught up in the attack.
Death threats have been levelled at the player and wife Amine Gulse, while Kolasinac's partner Bella has fled the country – vowing never to return.
And it has now emerged that footballers across the country and now bringing in former SAS bodyguards for extra protection.
In the Hale area, there have been four attacks in the last few weeks – guys jumping out with machetes demanding watches
Some have fitted their state-of-the-art homes with panic rooms after an increase in raids carried out by organised criminals.
In Hale, Cheshire, where a number of top players live, there have been four attacks in the last few weeks with machete-wielding gang members demanding their expensive watches.
It is feared gangs are targeting players after closely monitoring their social media pages and strike when they’re playing away in Europe.
Paul Hughes runs Benchmark Security, a firm which covers Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
His patch covers many of the homes lived in by top stars at Manchester United, City, and Liverpool.
He told The Times: “In the Hale area, there have been four attacks in the last few weeks – guys jumping out with machetes demanding watches.”
Richard Osborn, the co-founder of Chaperone K9 which provides protection dogs said stars are targeted on a “regular basis”.
He said that four in five of his clients are footballers with many of them paying at least £30,000 for services of each specially-trained dog.
He told The Telegraph: “Security is paramount to these guys and they are targeted on a regular basis.
“Because of that they look at different types of security measures. Purchasing a dog is one of those measures that someone can take to make sure they are safe and secure.
“When they are away, either on international duty or playing away from home, their family is normally left at home on their own and they want that added security. It makes the family feel safe and it makes the footballer feel more relaxed.”
He added: “We are getting more and more younger footballers now.”
Two men were been arrested outside Ozil’s Camden home earlier this month.
Ferhat Ercan and Salaman Ekinci, both 27, are due to appear in court on September 6.
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