How the last 10 big-name Arsenal departures have subsequently fared

Quick Reads

Arsenal are no longer one of the dominant forces in English football, yet a number of players to leave north London in recent years could be excused for regretting their decision.

We’ve taken a look at how the last 10 first-teamers to leave the Emirates have subsequently fared.

Note: we’ve not included sales from this summer and only included players who made 20+ appearances in their final season at Arsenal to exclude fringe players. That ruled out an awful lot of crocks.

Jack Wilshere

We say our criteria ruled out an awful lot of crocks, but Wilshere has still managed to slip the net, having made 38 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal in 2017-18 – the second best tally of his whole career.

But he opted for a change of scenery and left the Gunners upon the expiry of his contract, joining West Ham on a free transfer, where he promptly missed the majority of his debut campaign due to injury. Jack Wilshere, that.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Honestly, we have managed to exclude a number of injury-plagued players, despite all evidence so far suggesting otherwise.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s final season at Arsenal brought about 45 appearances, triumph in the FA Cup final and a strange conversion to wing-back.

£35million took him to Liverpool, only for him to suffer a serious knee injury just as he was beginning to show his best form in his favoured central midfield role.

The England international missed an entire year of football, but we really hope he can now get back to the kind of form he was showing under Jurgen Klopp before his misfortune.

Alexis Sanchez

Oh man. This has gone really, really badly. It’s not even funny. We miss the Sanchez that ripped up the Premier League at Arsenal.

He still managed to score his return to the Emirates, though.

READ: Alexis Sanchez & the tragedy of seeing great players reduced to punchlines

Theo Walcott

Remember when Everton signed Walcott after everyone had completely forgotten about his existence?

You’d completely forgotten he’s still at Everton, hadn’t you?

Olivier Giroud

One player on this list who can probably be justified in his decision to leave Arsenal, Giroud joined Chelsea in January of 2018, won the World Cup with France later that year, then lifted the Europa League after playing a key role in the 4-1 thrashing of his former club in Baku.

Olivier-Giroud-Chelsea-Arsenal-celebrates

READ: Giroud recreated his finest Arsenal moment for his finest Chelsea moment

Francis Coquelin

That game away at Manchester City feels like an awfully long time ago, although search Coquelin’s name on YouTube and there is a video titled, ‘Francis Coquelin destroying Barcelona’ after he played in Valencia’s Copa del Rey final victory at the end of 2018-19.

Gabriel Paulista

Another member of Valencia’s Copa del Rey-winning team, Gabriel told The Guardian of his time at Arsenal: “I did my best for them and I think the majority of games I played well. I wanted more opportunities and I deserved more, but that’s football and now I’m here.”

Kieran Gibbs

Gibbs turns 30 in September and fucking hell we’re all going to die soon.

Oh, and he’s playing in the Championship with West Brom.

Mathieu Flamini

Flamini made 24 appearances in all competitions in the final season of his second spell at Arsenal before being released and joining Crystal Palace.

He is now without a club after leaving Getafe but is too busy trying to save the world with his company GFBiochemicals.

Thomas Vermaelen

Vermaelen endured a strange Arsenal career, arriving to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s best centre-backs and earning the captaincy after Robin van Persie’s sale to Manchester United, only to watch on as Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker became Arsene Wenger’s first-choice pairing.

He had still shown enough quality to join Barcelona, but injuries decimated his spell at the Nou Camp, and he is now in Japan, playing for Vissel Kobe alongside Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Lukas Podolski, which sounds a right laugh.


More Arsenal

Alexander Hleb: I cried over Arsenal exit; most players regret leaving

Alexis Sanchez & the tragedy of seeing great players reduced to punchlines

When Thierry Henry completely took the piss out of Real Madrid for Arsenal

Can you name Arsenal’s top goalscorer from every Premier League season?