Former Arsenal and Bayern Munich star Lukas Podolski turns out for Gornik Zabre in the Polish League, February 2023.

7 former Arsenal players we can’t believe are still playing in 2023

Arsenal have been represented by legions of top-quality players down the years & we salute those former Gunners that are still active in professional football.

Many Arsenal players from the late 2000s and the early 2010s have already retired. However, alongside the likes of Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey, there are still a handful of journeymen chugging along in leagues across the globe.

We’ve taken a closer look at seven former Gunners that we couldn’t believe were still playing competitively in 2023.

Santi Cazorla

Cazorla signed for Arsenal in 2012 in a deal worth £10m and made 180 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 29 goals.

He won two FA Cups and two Community Shields with Arsenal, becoming a fan’s hero in the process, and also lifted the European Championship with Spain in 2008 and 2012.

At the age of 38, he made an emotional return to boyhood club Real Oviedo this summer.

Playing their football in the Segunda Division, the Asturian side wouldn’t normally be able to afford a player of such calibre, but Cazorla has agreed to play for the minimum wage allowed by the Spanish football authorities.

And Oviedo’s youth academy will receive 10% of Cazorla’s shirt sales after he gave up all image rights to the club. What a guy.

Lukas Podolski

Back in 2012, Podolski moved from his hometown club FC Koln and joined Arsenal. In 82 games, the Polish-born German bagged 31 goals and even helped the team to an FA Cup triumph.

Today, the proud kebab shop owner is terrorizing defenders in the Polish Ekstraklasa with Puskas-worthy sh*tpingers like this one.

Lukas Podolski celebrates scoring from the halfway line during the Polish League match between Gornik Zabrze and Pogon Sczczecin, November 2022.

READ: Look Arsenal fans, Lukas Podolski has won the 2023 Puskas Award already


Gervinho became a byword for frustration and inconsistency during his time at the Emirates, shapeshifting between Champions League quality and Sunday League performances at random.

After two years in England, the former Ivory Coast international was sold to Roma before a spell in China during their ‘Saudi Arabia’ period.

Now 36, Gervinho is playing in Greece for Aris Thessaloniki. We can think of worse places to see out your career.

Alex Song

At the age of 36, Song is still playing competitive football. We’re as surprised as you are.

After the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the former Cameroon international was one of nine players sacked by Swiss club FC Sion. But he’s soldiering on and has played for Djiboutian side Arta/Solar7 since November 2020.

The streets will never forget Song’s performances in the 2011-12 season, especially that assist for Robin van Persie’s volley against Everton.

Arsenal midfielder Alex Song

READ: Remembering the strange season Alex Song became Arsenal’s new Fabregas

Carl Jenkinson

Part of Arsenal’s much-trumpeted English core in the early 2010s, Jenkinson made 70 appearances for the Gunners before moving across the city to West Ham in 2014.

Spells at Birmingham and Nottingham Forest followed before the defender decided to up sticks and move to Australia. After a brief loan at Melbourne City, Jenkinson is now with A-League side Newcastle Jets.

Gael Clichy

Clichy most recently played for Servette in Switzerland and has previously spoken about his coaching plans after his playing career is over.

“I am looking forward to the future,” Clichy told The Telegraph earlier this month.

“If a good project comes, I would think about playing one more year.”

The Invincible squad member is currently without a club, perhaps indicating his managerial ambitions are next on the horizon. But let’s not forget the absolute blooter he scored back in May…

Gael Clichy during the Swiss Super League match between Servette and Basel at Stade de Geneve, Geneva, October 2022.

READ: Gael Clichy’s still playing? Yes, and he’s scoring Puskas contenders too

Vito Mannone

Yes, Mannone is only 35 which is practically middle-aged for a goalkeeper. But we were still surprised to learn his playing career is still ongoing; the Italian is currently between the sticks at Lille and will be playing Europa Conference League football this term.

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