Ranking every player to wear No.7 for Arsenal in the Premier League: Saka 3rd…
Arsenal’s No.7 shirt has been worn by some brilliant players over the years, but it has a curious history in the Premier League era.
Bukayo Saka is the eighth player to wear the jersey since the English top flight introduced official squad numbers in the 1993-94 season.
We’ve ranked every player to wear the No.7 shirt for Arsenal in the Premier League era from worst to best.
8. Nelson Vivas
Despite being a right-back, Vivas was given the No.7 shirt after joining Arsenal from Boca Juniors in 1998.
The Argentina international was mainly used as backup for established full-backs Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn, making just 40 Premier League appearances for the club.
After loan spells at Celta Vigo and River Plate, he joined Inter Milan on a free transfer in 2001.
Who remembers Nelson Vivas?
Well, it's his birthday today – so let's look back at his one and only Arsenal goal 🎈 pic.twitter.com/qK8LL9StoK
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 18, 2016
7. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Mkhitaryan joined the Gunners in January 2018 and enjoyed a brilliant start to his Arsenal career, registering a hat-trick of assists on his debut.
But he failed to establish himself as a regular in the team and the attacking midfielder was eventually deemed surplus to requirements by Unai Emery.
“Emery paid more attention to tactics, so my role changed,” Mkhitaryan told FourFourTwo in November 2019.
“I was starting as a winger, but had to build play with the defensive midfielder. It’s why I couldn’t contribute as many goals or assists.
“I like to play more freely and move wherever there’s space, but you have to do the job that the manager asks.”
The 34-year-old has since rekindled his careerin Italy, moving to the Roma on a permanent deal after a successful loan spell back in 2019-20. Nowadays he’s turning out for Inter.
6. Kevin Campbell
Campbell was part of the side which won the First Division title in 1991 and later became the first Arsenal player to be officially assigned the No.7 in the Premier League.
The striker scored 19 goals in all competitions in 1993-94 and helped the club win the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
He fell down the pecking order following Dennis Bergkamp’s arrival in 1995 and decided to joined Nottingham Forest in search of regular first-team football.
“You have got to remember I was a London boy and I supported the club so it was a special time to play for them,” Campbell told us.
“I couldn’t afford to go to games when I was younger so I waited until the last 20 minutes when they opened the gates to the old North Bank stand and ran in to watch the final action of the game. So to be able to actually pay for the team I supported was a dream come true.”
5. David Platt
After four years in Italy, Platt returned to England with Arsenal in 1995 and big things were expected of the midfielder.
He established himself as a regular during his first two years at the club and formed a great partnership with Patrick Vieira in 1996-97.
The arrival of Emmanuel Petit from Monaco made first-team starts difficult and 1997-98 proved to be Platt’s final season with the Gunners.
But his winning header against Manchester United in November 1997 helped endear him to the Highbury faithful.
Happy 53rd birthday to you, David Platt 🎈
⏪ As David is celebrating today, we're throwin' it back to this late winner against Manchester United from 1997 😎 pic.twitter.com/CVExSJWGTg
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 10, 2019
4. Alexis Sanchez
Ahead of his third season at Arsenal, Sanchez shifted from number 17 to his favoured No.7 shirt.
The forward then registered 24 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League in 2016-17 and also helped the Gunners win the FA Cup.
But he tainted his Arsenal legacy by joining Manchester United in January 2018. At least he was a disaster at Old Trafford.
3. Bukayo Saka
It’s still early days for young Saka, who has the world at his feet. It’s easy to forget he’s still just 21, given he’s already made well over 100 appearances for his boyhood club.
The potential is frightening and if he continues on his current trajectory, there’s every chance he climbs up further in this ranking in the future.
The Hale End graduate is arguably the Gunners’ best player. He responded brilliantly to his England penalty heartbreak by notching 11 goals and seven assists as Arsenal finished a respectable fifth place last season and continues his rapid ascent as a star player in 2022-23’s surprise title charge.
Every chance we’ll bump him up a place or two in the future, especially if he can inspire Arteta’s side to lift the Premier League trophy come May. Special player.
2. Tomas Rosicky
Rosicky joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in 2006 and established himself as a fans’ favourite during his 10 years at the Emirates.
Despite being hampered by injury problems, the Czech midfielder was a joy to watch and scored a number of memorable goals for the Gunners, including against North London rivals Tottenham in both the league and FA Cup in 2014.
“He makes it look very easy when he’s playing. He has a quality — when the ball comes to him the game suddenly becomes a bit quicker, more incisive, more mobile,” Arsene Wenger told the Arsenal website in 2016.
“He had all the football qualities to play the game we love to play here, and I would say Tomas Rosicky was the perfect player for Arsenal Football Club.”
1. Robert Pires
There was only ever going to be one winner.
Pires was brought in to replace Marc Overmars in 2000 and It proved to be one of the best signings Arsene Wenger would ever make.
The France international was a key member of the Invincibles side who went unbeaten to win the 2003-04 Premier League title, one of four major trophies he won during his six-year stay in north London.