The 10 Arsenal first-teamers sold under Unai Emery & how they’ve fared since

Quick Reads

Given his time in north London was – to put it kindly – underwhelming, Unai Emery will not be very fondly remembered by most at Arsenal.

Arsenal saw quite a high turnover of players during Emery’s 18 months in charge, and we’ve taken a closer look at the 10 first-team players to be sold under the Spaniard.

We’ve excluded anyone without a first-team appearance, including Stephy Mavidi and Xavier Amaechi, plus the likes of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, who didn’t command a fee.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide

Reine-Adelaide made his debut for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger in 2016 but was sold to Angers in Emery’s first summer in charge after spending the previous six months on loan at the French outfit.

It looked like Arsenal could live to regret the midfielder’s sale after he was signed by Lyon in a €25million deal after just one full season at Angers.

But the 22-year-old similarly spent just a single season at Lyon before joining Nice on loan for 2020-21, with an option to make the deal permanent once more for €25million.

Chuba Akpom

A product of the Gunners’ academy, Akpom was a popular figure at the Emirates but struggled to make his mark, failing to score in 12 appearances.

The striker joined PAOK in 2018, where he became an absolute hero, firing them to a league and cup Double.

The 25-year-old returned to England in September 2020, joining Middlesbrough for £2.75miilion and scoring on his debut against QPR.

Lucas Perez

Perez spent just one season at the Emirates before being loaned out to Deportivo and then eventually sold to West Ham. He didn’t last long at London Stadium either.

But the Spaniard has thrived since joining Alaves in 2019, so much so that he was wanted by Barcelona in February 2020, only to reject a potential move.

“It is not the first time that Barcelona has called me, like other great clubs,” Perez told Marca. “The truth is that that does not distract me.

“What is clear to me is that I want to do well and I want to feel like a player again as I am doing here, where they have given me love since day one.”

READ: Ranking Arsenal’s 25 weirdest Premier League signings

Joel Campbell

Having signed from Costa Rican outfit Deportivo Saprissa, Campbell was sent out on loan six times at Arsenal.

By 2018, the forward was finally sold permanently and moved to Frosinone. After failing to score in 17 games for the Italian outfit, Campbell moved to Mexico to join Leon as he approaches his 100th cap for Costa Rica.

David Ospina

Having never quite managed to make the No.1 shirt his own at Arsenal, Ospina moved on loan to Napoli in a deal which was made permanent in 2019 as Emery brought in Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.

Most managers like to settle on one goalkeeper, but Ospina has often been rotated with Alex Meret throughout his time at Stadio San Paolo.

Krystian Bielik

Bielik’s Arsenal career totalled just 33 minutes over two League Cup outings while being sent out on loan three times.

He impressed enough on loan at Charlton to convince Derby to pay a club-record fee of around £10million to sign the Poland international, but his time at Pride Park has been blighted by serious injury.

Laurent Koscielny

An acrimonious exit sullied nine years of loyal service from Koscielny at Arsenal. The defender made 25 Ligue 1 appearances as Bordeaux finished 12th last term.

Carl Jenkinson

Everyone loves Jenkinson, don’t they?

However, it was clear for some time that he wasn’t what Arsenal needed at right-back, so it made sense for him to take a step down to the Championship with Nottingham Forest.

The 28-year-old made just eight league appearances last term, partly due to injury, and he has once more struggled to work his way into Forest’s starting XI in 2020-21.

READ: How TWO Arsenal outfielders ended up in goal on loan at West Ham

Alex Iwobi

Despite playing 149 times for the Gunners, it felt like Iwobi never quite fulfilled his potential in a red and white shirt, and Everton offered a clean slate for him – not to mention an eye-watering £34million.

That move hasn’t completely paid off for the Nigeria international yet, but at 24 years old there is still time for him to come good.

Nacho Monreal

Monreal played over 250 times for Arsenal and became a real fans’ favourite for his dedication to the club.

However, all good things must come to an end and the Spaniard joined Real Sociedad in 2019.

“I know what kind of player I am: I’ve never been a star who scores goals or makes the difference,” Monreal recently told The Guardian. “But every time I pulled on the Arsenal shirt, I gave my all.

“I felt proud just warming up. You could feel the fans’ affection, gratitude. I’m very fond of them too.”


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