Where are they now? Arsenal’s last 20 January signings

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Arsenal fans are intrigued to see how Mikel Arteta strengthens his squad this month – but the Gunners have a mixed record when it comes to signing players in the January transfer window.

Arteta is still getting to grips with the north Londoners’ squad after replacing Unai Emery as manager and has the opportunity to bring in new recruits for the second part of the season.

We’ve taken a look back at Arsenal’s previous 20 signings from the January transfer window. We can’t say it’s a list littered with success stories.

Emmanuel Adebayor

You probably shouldn’t mention his name around the Emirates these days, but Adebayor was an absolute steal in 2006, joining from Monaco as a 21-year-old for around £3million.

Come 2007-08, the striker stepped up to fill the void left by Thierry Henry by scoring 30 goals in all competitions and was practically unplayable at times before leaving under a cloud to join Manchester City.

Now 35, Adebayor left Kayserispor in December with the team bottom of the Turkish league, halfway through a one-year deal.

READ: A rare celebration of peak Emmanuel Adebayor & his super spell at Arsenal

Theo Walcott

Poor Theo. Slogging away desperately at Everton was not how his career was expected to pan out when he joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old in January 2006, travelling to the World Cup in the summer after being surprisingly selected in the England squad.

In 399 games for Arsenal, Walcott scored 108 goals and provided 78 assists, which is not to be sniffed at, but his legacy could have been far greater were he not desperately unlucky in a couple of big moments.

Theo Walcott

READ: How the football Gods conspired to deny Theo Walcott Arsenal hero status

Mart Poom

We assumed Poom would be Estonia’s No.1 goalkeeper for the rest of eternity. Turns out he retired in 2009, but it’s comforting to know he has been Estonia’s goalkeeping coach ever since.

Andrey Arshavin

He’ll always have that winner against Barcelona and the four goals at Anfield, but Arshavin flattered to deceive for large spells at the club.

The Russian retired in 2018 after three years in the obscurity of the Kazakhstan Premier League. We can only hope he now devotes his time to updating Ask Arshavin.

READ: The best (and worst) of Ask Arshavin: Bears, Albert Einstein & ice cream

Sol Campbell

In a surprising move, Arsenal re-signed Campbell on a free transfer in January 2010 following the defender’s exit from Notts County after a couple of months in League Two.

The former England international made 11 appearances before spending the final season of his playing career at Newcastle United, and he is now in charge of League One outfit Southend United.

Samuel Galindo

No, we don’t remember him either, but that’s probably because the attacking midfielder was loaned out seven times by Arsenal and never actually appeared for the club.

More recently, the four-cap Bolivia international left the brilliantly-named The Strongest for the equally brilliant Always Ready.

Ryo Miyaichi

Once considered an exciting prospect, Miyaichi never established himself in England after spending time on loan at Bolton and Wigan.

The winger moved to cult German outfit St Pauli, but his career has been consistently blighted by injuries.

Wellington Silva

A name familiar to plenty of Football Manager players but possibly no one else.

The attacker was loaned out six times, including a spell in the Championship with Bolton, but never appeared for the Gunners before returning to his native Brazil with Fluminense.

Thierry Henry

“My strike against Leeds when I came back to London in 2012 was my favourite goal for Arsenal,” Henry told The Sun in 2017. “That one was personal. It won’t go down in FA Cup history but it was the first time I scored as a fan.

“You know, I wasn’t meant to come back and I came back. I wasn’t meant to play, I played. I wasn’t meant to score, I scored. It was so emotional. It wasn’t about technique or about the score, it was what it meant to me.

“Usually when I scored I didn’t show much uncontrolled emotion. I was accused of being cold. Sometimes that was because I was annoyed because I’d missed a chance or because we were losing. But that day, we could have been 10-0 down and I would have still celebrated like that! I was a lunatic! I had scored as a fan! Everyone dreams of that.”

That goal alone made re-signing Henry, now in charge of MLS outfit Montreal Impact, on loan completely worthwhile.

Thomas Eisfeld

The 2020 winter transfer window marks five years since Eisfeld left England to return to Germany, initially joining Bochum on loan before joining the club on a permanent basis for the 2015-16 season.

Eisfeld had joined Arsenal as a highly-rated prospect from Borussia Dortmund in 2012 and was compared to Robert Pires by Arsene Wenger after scoring in a League Cup tie against West Brom, yet he never appeared for the first team again before a similarly underwhelming spell at Fulham, with injuries hampering the midfielder’s career throughout.

Nacho Monreal

Arsenal supporters could be excused for not knowing a great deal about Monreal when he arrived in January 2013 after spells in Spain with Osasuna and Malaga, but the defender certainly left his mark on the club.

Upon leaving the club last summer to return to Spain with Real Sociedad, Monreal waved goodbye with over 250 appearances for the Gunners and three FA Cups to his name.

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31st January, 2013. Malaga. I wake up, check my phone and have 2 calls from Santi Cazorla. I call him and he asks me if I want to play for Arsenal. 10 hours later I was an Arsenal player. Sometimes Football is simple. Different country, city, language, football style, team mates, where it's not the best conditions for a shy person as me, but I knew I have to be there!! Almost 7 years later it's time to say goodbye, it hasnt been an easy decision, but thinking of my family and my future it feels that it is the right decision.. I would like to say thank you to all my team mates, staff, and all the people who work for Arsenal and especially to the fans for all the respect and love they have always shown me. I’ll always remember you. THANKS. P.S Now it's time to win the North London Derby 😉 🙌🙌 #COYG

A post shared by Nacho Monreal (@nachomonreal_) on

Kim Kallstrom

A bonafide Football Manager legend, it’s probably fair to say Kallstrom finally moved to England a little past his best. A back injury was discovered during the then-31-year-old’s medical, and Arsene Wenger admitted he only went ahead with the signing as there was not enough time left in the window to pursue an alternative option.

The midfielder played just four times for Arsenal, although he notably came on in extra-time of the FA Cup against Wigan Athletic to score in the Gunners’ shoot-out victory, describing the occasion as “the greatest 15 minutes of my life”.

Where is he now? Well, he’s inspiring episodes of our podcast, The Broken Metatarsal.

Krystian Bielik

Derby County made Bielik their club-record signing last summer, prising the Poland international away from Arsenal in a £9.5million move.

Bielik played twice for Arsenal after joining from Legia Warsaw in January 2015, but he needed to drop down to League One, impressing on loan at Charlton Athletic before catching Derby’s eye.

The Rams have struggled in the Championship this season, and Bielik’s campaign has ended early due to a serious knee injury suffered in an under-23s game.

Gabriel Paulista

Generally remembered for being terrorised by Diego Costa – a fate which befell plenty of other defenders in the Premier League – Gabriel was…fine, right?

The centre-back has grown in stature since joining Valencia in 2017, making over 100 appearances in two-and-a-half seasons and helping the side win the Copa del Rey last term.

Mohamed Elneny

Still technically an Arsenal player, Elneny is currently on loan at Besiktas, with the Turkish club holding an option to make the move permanent in the summer.

More importantly, we’ve just seen this photo.

Cohen Bramall

Bramall was plucked from obscurity when he joined Arsenal from non-league outfit Hednesford Town in January 2017. The left-back failed to make a senior appearance for the club and similarly struggled on loan at Birmingham City before joining League Two side Colchester United upon the expiry of his contract at the Emirates.

Now 23, he certainly hasn’t lost any ambition, telling Sky Sports in December: “I want to be the best full-back in the world. I’m just a winner, I’m passionate and I just want to win and I want to get to the highest level as fast as possible.

“I’ve come to the game late and I look at my mates who are younger than me who are at a higher level, but I’m thinking, ‘I’m 23, it’s possible.’ I can get there now. I’ve been there, I’ve dropped, I’ve took a step back, but I’m ready to go again for the next challenge. Anything that comes at me, I’m ready.”

Konstantinos Mavropanos

Another player still on the books at Arsenal albeit currently out on loan, Mavropanos recently joined Nuremberg until the end of the season after struggling for game time.

The centre-back initially impressed in north London after being thrown in at the deep end, making his debut at Old Trafford a couple of months after joining the club from Greek side PAS Giannina and enjoying a run in the side due to injuries.

Now 22, Mavropanos has struggled to build on that promising starts due to injury issues of his own.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan moved to Arsenal as part of the deal which saw Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United. Given both players are now on loan in Serie A, it’s probably fair to say there were no winners from that transfer. Apart from the agents, perhaps.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Just really bloody good.

Denis Suarez

A poor man’s Kim Kallstrom, Suarez played 67 minutes in the Premier League after joining Arsenal on loan from Barcelona but is faring more regularly now he has moved to Celta Vigo on a permanent basis.


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