The best players revealed by Arsenal - Moztimbila

The best players revealed by Arsenal

Arsenal's ability to develop players matches the best Europe has to offer. From Liam Brady to Bukayo Saka, the Gunners have a long and rich history of revealing talent that has left an important mark on the world of football.

Arsenal may have brought in some of the world's top talent over the years, but their squads have always had a sprinkling of local players who have played key roles in the club's success.

Below, GOAL recalls some of the best players produced by one of football's great talent factories.

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Liam Brady
One of the most talented players to ever wear the Arsenal shirt.

Brady joined at age 15 and spent a few years in youth before getting his first-team break at 17.

The Irishman spent seven years with the Gunners, making over 300 appearances – winning the FA Cup in 1979.

Brady signed with Juventus in 1980 and spent seven years in Italy, passing through Sampdoria, Inter Milan and Ascoli.

He returned to England in 1987 to play for West Ham.
David O'Leary
Arsenal's record-breaking appearance.

He signed as a youth in 1973 and made his professional debut two years later.

O'Leary made 722 appearances before joining Leeds United in 1993.

The Republic of Ireland player won two league titles with Arsenal, as well as two FA Cups and two League Cups.
David Rocastle
There are few players as popular at Arsenal as David Rocastle.

The midfielder tragically passed away from cancer at just 33 years old, but not before he had written his name in Arsenal's history with his incredible talent.

Rocastle was a sensation in North London and his name is still chanted by fans to this day.

He joined the youth team in 1982 and made his professional debut three years later. Rocastle won two league titles and a League Cup with the club before being sold to Leeds United in 1991.

He has stints at Manchester City and Chelsea before moving to Malaysia.

Rocastle passed away on March 31, 2001 after a battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Michael Thomas
Scorer of the most famous goal in Arsenal's history.

Thomas, who joined the club as a boy in 1982, secured his legendary status when he scored the last-minute goal at Anfield to clinch the league title against Liverpool in the final game of the 1988-89 season.

The midfielder added another league title to his list of honors in 1991, before moving to the Reds, where he lifted the FA Cup trophy in 1992, scoring the first goal in the final against Sunderland.

Thomas then spent time in Portugal with Benfica before ending his career at Wimbledon.
Tony Adams
Arsenal's greatest captain of all time.

Adams signed as a juvenile in 1980 and made his debut three years later, just after his 17th birthday.

He captained when he was just 21 and made 669 appearances, guiding the club to league titles in three separate decades.

In all, Adams won the double during his time at Arsenal, in 1998 and 2002.

He also won four league titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and the Cup Winners' Cup.

A true legend of the club, who also captained England during his legendary career. 
Paul Merson
The magic man!

Merson was another player who passed through Arsenal's youth ranks in the late 1980s, who became the club's hero.

He joined as an apprentice in 1984 and made his debut two years later, before settling into George Graham's exciting youth team.

Merson was an important part of the team that won the top flight title in 1989 and 1991. He also won the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup during his time in North London.

The forward scored 99 goals in all competitions before joining Middlesbrough in 1997. He then moved on to Aston Villa and Portsmouth before playing his career in the lower divisions.
Andy Cole
He may not have made much of an impact at Arsenal, but Andy Cole learned his craft in North London before establishing himself as one of the best Premier League strikers of all time.

After moving through the youth ranks at Highbury, he made just one league appearance before being sold to Bristol City after a successful loan spell.

Cole then moved to Newcastle before sealing a £7m transfer to Manchester United in 1995.

At the time, the transfer fee was a British transfer record, but it still proved to be a bargain, with Cole's goals helping United to five Premier League titles during his stint with the club, as well as an FA Cup and League Cup. of Champions.

Cole also passed through Fulham, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers before ending his legendary career.
Ray Parlor
No player has made more Premier League appearances for Arsenal than the 333 that were scored by Ray Parlour.

He joined the club as a junior in 1989 and made his first-team debut three years later.

Parlor went on to be a mainstay of the team for over a decade, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the League Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup.

The midfielder was a key player in Arsene Wenger's historic Invincibles squad before leaving to join Middlesbrough in 2004.
Nicolas Anelka
Anelka's time at Arsenal may have been relatively short, but it was during his time at the club that he introduced himself to the football world in style.

Pulled out of Paris Saint Germain's youth ranks at age 17 in 1997, it wasn't long before Anelka was knocking on the north London club's door.

An injury to Ian Wright during the 1997-98 season gave the French forward his opportunity and he didn't waste it, playing a major role in Arsenal's league and cup win that season.

He remained at the club for another year, but was sold to Real Madrid in the summer of 1999 for £22.5 million and won the Champions League the following year.

Anelka went on to have successful stints at Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City before ending his career in India in 2015.
Ashley Cole
A product of Arsenal's academy who has become the best left-back in Europe.

Cole progressed through the ranks with the Gunners, the club he grew up supporting, before his professional debut with Arsene Wenger in 1999.

He soon replaced Sylvinho as a left-back in Arsenal's starting lineup and won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups before joining Chelsea in 2006.

The defender represented England in three World Cups and had 107 caps.
Jack Wilshere
One of Arsenal's most famous academy products of recent times.

Wilshere was a sensation when he joined the first team under Arsene Wenger in 2008.
The midfielder had been successful in the academy for years and was just 16 when Wenger gave him the opportunity to move up.

He quickly established himself in the starting lineup, producing numerous memorable performances, such as his display against Barcelona in a 2-1 Champions League win in 2011.

Unfortunately, injuries prevented Wilshere from reaching his true potential at Arsenal – but he still won two FA Cups before his departure in 2018.
Wojciech Szczesny
Szczesny joined Arsenal's academy training at just 16 years old.

Arsene Wenger predicted the Polish goalkeeper would become Arsenal's No.

It looked like Szczesny would be Arsenal's No 1 for years, but his relationship with Wenger became strained and, after a spell on loan with Roma, he was sold to Juventus in 2017.
He has been a mainstay of the Juventus squad ever since and remains one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.
Kieran Gibbs
Gibbs joined Arsenal's academy from Wimbledon in 2004 and signed his first professional contract three years later.

He made his first-team debut in September 2007 and went on to become the first-choice left-back after Gael Clichy left to sign for Manchester City.

Gibbs spent a decade in and out of Arsenal's first team and won three FA Cups during his time in North London.

He finally left in 2017, joining West Bromwich Albion.

Gibbs spent four years with the Hawthorns and now plays in the MLS with Inter Miami.
Cesc Fabregas
One of the most talented players to ever wear the Arsenal shirt.

Fabregas was brought to Arsenal at age 16 by Arsene Wenger.

After an initial stint at the academy, Fabregas became Arsenal's youngest player who made his first-team debut at just 16 years and 177 days in October 2003.

He captained the Gunners and made over 300 appearances before returning to Barcelona in 2011.

Fabregas spent three years at Camp Nou, winning a league title and the Copa del Rey.

He returned to England in 2014 and signed for Chelsea, where he would win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League before moving to Monaco.

One of the best midfielders of his generation, Fabregas has also won the World Cup and Euro Cup while representing Spain.
Serge Gnabry
The one that got away….

Serge Gnabry arrived at Arsenal from Stuttgart at the age of 16 and quickly began to make a name for himself.

After some impressive performances in the Under-18s, he quickly started to rise and made his professional debut at just 17 years old in a League Cup match against Coventry.

His Premier League debut came soon after and it looked like Gnabry was set to make a big impression in North London.

But an injury stopped him and he was left disillusioned after a disastrous loan spell at Stoke as he tried to regain his fitness.

After turning down a new contract, he was sold to Werder Bremen in 2016 and then quickly moved to Bayern Munich, where he established himself as one of Europe's top strikers.
Alex Iwobi
Things might not have worked out for Iwobi at Arsenal, but he remains one of the club's biggest success stories due to the transfer fee he received from his eventual departure.

Iwobi progressed from Hale End and debuted in the first team by Arsene Wenger in 2015.
He had a big impact from the start and established himself as a key part of Wenger's plans, making 149 appearances for the club.

Iwobi won the FA Cup in 2017 but found himself on the sidelines after Wenger left and was sold to Everton in the summer of 2019.

Arsenal received around £35m for the winger. No Arsenal academy products sold for more.
Joe Willock
He may now be playing for Newcastle United, but Joe Willock was made in North London.

The attacking midfielder is the youngest of three brothers who passed through Arsenal's youth team before moving.

After breaking into the first team under Arsene Wenger, Willock remained on the sidelines of the first team during Unai Emery's tenure and Mikel Arteta's early days.

But a successful loan deal with Newcastle United saw their star rise and Arsenal decided it was time to cash in on the academy's product.

The Gunners sold Willock to Newcastle last summer in a deal that could total around £25m.
Bukayo Saka
Arsenal's current gem.

Saka has been with the Gunners since he was seven and burst onto the scene in the 2019-20 season when he was just 17.

The forward has won the club's Player of the Season award for the last two years in a row.

Despite being only 20 years old, he is arguably the most important player in Mikel Arteta's squad and is the central figure of the club's new project.
Emile Smith Rowe
Another of Arsenal's current young talents.

Like Saka, Smith Rowe has been with the club for over a decade and has risen through the Hale End to become a key first-team player in recent seasons.

He flourished under Mikel Arteta and ended the 2021-22 season as Arsenal's second-highest scorer.

At just 21 years old, Smith Rowe's best is yet to come and Arsenal fans look forward to seeing him star for Emirates for many more years to come.

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