The 15 players given debuts by Wenger still playing in Europe’s top leagues

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Arsene Wenger was renowned for his policy of developing youth players during his time at Arsenal, regularly trusting younger players and handing many their first opportunity of first-team football.

Wenger left Arsenal at the end of the season following 22 years at the club, during which time he handed out professional debuts to plenty of players who went on to have successful careers.

We’ve decided to take a look at each player still active away from Arsenal in Europe’s top five leagues and the Championship.

Serge Gnabry

Wenger had wanted to extend Gnabry’s contract in 2016 but cashed in when the winger was seeking more first-team opportunities, subsequently joining Werder Bremen for £5million.

He scored 11 goals in 27 Bundesliga appearances, prompting Bayern Munich to activate his release clause before spending the season at Hoffenheim, netting 10 times as they finished third.

Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas began making his name in the Arsenal squad the season following the Invincibles as he went on to replace Patrick Vieira in the middle of the park.

The Spain international went on to play over 300 times for the Gunners before returning to boyhood club Barcelona. This season at Chelsea he recently joined a four-man club of players who have scored 50 Premier League goals and assisted a further 100.

Armand Traore

In the 2006-07 season, Traore played almost all of Arsenal’s run to the League Cup final, during which Wenger was criticised for only playing younger players in the competition as they lost 2-1 to Chelsea in the final.

Now at Nottingham Forest, the left-back played a handful of games on loan at Cardiff at the end of last season to help them to promotion from the Championship.

Kyle Bartley

Bartley only ever played once for Arsenal, in a Champions League match against Olympiakos, before a number of loan spells eventually saw him land at Swansea.

After spending the 2016-17 season on loan at Leeds United, he has been strongly linked with a return to Elland Road this summer.

Rui Fonte

Another member of Wenger’s one-game club, Jose Fonte’s younger brother has since spent time at both Sporting Lisbon and Benfica, without making a senior appearance for either.

After spells at various clubs, he now finds himself at Fulham, making 27 appearances as the club narrowly missed out on automatic promotion from the Championship.

READ: Where are they now? Every player to play once for Arsenal under Wenger

Gilles Sunu

Now 27, winger Sunu has made 155 career appearances in Ligue 1, featuring for Lorient, Evian and Angers.

He played just twice for Arsenal and nine times on loan at Derby, joining Lorient initially on a temporary deal before making the move permanent in the summer of 2011.

Ignasi Miquel

As a youngster Miquel attracted significant attention, with Valencia and Manchester United both chasing his signature before Arsenal snapped the defender up.

He made 14 first-team appearances for Wenger’s side before spells at Leicester, Norwich, Ponferradina and Lugo. He joined Malaga in December 2017, and has made 20 appearances for the La Liga side.

Kieran Gibbs

After 13 years 230 appearances for Arsenal, Gibbs finally left North London to join West Brom last summer.

He featured in 33 Premier League games as the Baggies finished bottom of the league and was involved in a bizarre spat with Wenger in September, claiming he would become a better player now he had left Arsenal.

Wenger responded: “You should ask him what he means about being a better defender at West Brom. He will certainly have to defend more because we are a team that goes forward and they are a team who focus more on defending. Learning is an attitude in life. It doesn’t depend on your geographical status.”

Stuart Taylor

Taylor’s time at Arsenal has actually proved to be the most prolific of his career in terms of appearances as he made 30 across a five-year spell.

The goalkeeper famously joined Manchester City in 2009 to make up their quota of English players, and at 37 has amassed under 100 senior appearances, spending the last two seasons with Southampton.

Seb Larsson

After a handful of appearances in his early days at Arsenal, Larsson has become a well-known figure in Premier League football following spells with Birmingham City and Sunderland.

He made over 200 appearances in all competitions for both, and is now in the Championship with Hull.

Francis Coquelin

Coquelin played 160 times under Wenger after making his professional debut for Arsenal in 2008.

He spent time on loan at Lorient, Freiburg and Charlton before eventually leaving to join Valencia for €14million in January.

Nico Yennaris

After first appearing in the League Cup, midfielder Yennaris then received an unexpected league bow when he came on at half-time of a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in 2012.

“Nico is a fantastic player, but also has an excellent attitude,” said Wenger after the match. After a few injury problems he has now established himself as a regular at Championship side Brentford, who he captained on a number of occasions this season.

Wojciech Szczesny

“We have identified Wojciech as a future great, great goalkeeper,” gushed Wenger after Szczesny’s debut in the League Cup back in 2009.

A number of errors led to Wenger searching for other options, however, and after two years on loan at Roma the goalkeeper joined Juventus last summer, where he is being earmarked as the long-term replacement for Gianluigi Buffon.

Henri Lansbury

Thanks to Sam Allardyce’s refusal to name a goalkeeper amongst his substitutes, Lansbury kept goal for the second half of a 4-1 victory over Blackpool during a spell on loan at West Ham.

Having joined Aston Villa, via Nottingham Forest, he will be hoping to emulate his season at West Ham by ending it with victory in the Championship play-off final.

READ: The strange story of the TWO Arsenal outfielders who kept goal for West Ham

Isaac Hayden

Following a loan spell at Hull in which the Tigers were promoted to the Premier League, Hayden joined Newcastle in 2016, playing 33 times in their promotion-winning campaign.

It was a case of what could have been at Arsenal for the midfielder, who was due to start his first Premier League game in 2014 aged just 19, only to damage ankle ligaments in training on the day prior to his debut and sit out the entire season.


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