Arsenal: 5 Stars That the Gunners Let Go of

S. GordonCorrespondent IIFebruary 24, 2012

Arsenal: 5 Stars That the Gunners Let Go of

0 of 5

    There have been many great players to pull on the shirt for Arsenal, but not many seem to remain at The Emirates. What is it that drives them away?

    Is it the lack of ambition the club is showing or the fact that they can get higher wages elsewhere?

    Is the strict wage structure in place at Arsenal going to condemn the club to a life of mediocrity as this season looks to be their seventh successive season without a trophy?

    In the following slides, I will name five great players in no order that they have let slip through their hands. 

Cesc Fabregas

1 of 5

    It may have been an impossible task keeping the young Spaniard away from his hometown in the last summer transfer market, but surely if success was coming Arsenals way, he would have had a harder decision to make.

    The former Arsenal captain failed to win a single trophy whilst leading the team, and he has mentioned this to The Sun as one of his biggest regrets.

    Had Arsenal brought in some star players and a larger contract was floated his way, he may have stayed at The Emirates.

    You could see his mind was on other things when he was on the pitch, so maybe it was for the best for himself and Arsenal that he moved on.

Patrick Vieira

2 of 5

    The departure of Patrick Viera was followed by a trophy-less seven years for Arsenal, and these two occurrences seem to coincide with one another.

    Vieira’s last game in an Arsenal shirt came in the 2005 F.A. Cup final, where Arsenal overcame Manchester United in a penalty shootout. The Frenchman’s last kick of a ball for Arsenal won them the game and he left Arsenal with his head held high.

    Paddy V then took his career to Italy with Juventus and Inter Milan, returning to the Premier League in the sky blue colours of mega-spending Manchester City.

    The thing that stings the most for Arsenal fans is that he is now the football development executive at Manchester City, a role that he could be doing for Arsenal if he had stayed.

    There seem to be different stories on whether Vieira left under his own choice, according to the BBC. Arsenal might have decided to make way for new players coming through.

Samir Nasri

3 of 5

    Nasri, who completed his £24 million move to Manchester City in the summer, is a prime example of a player who could have been persuaded to stay.

    There are two sides to the coin in the Nasri story. He told the Daily Mail that he was more likely to win the league with Manchester City, but Arsenal fans believe Nasri went there just for the money.

    The Arsenal board will have to be thinking that if they don’t invest in the club, they will see all the star players leave. Besides, fans are egging Wenger on to finally spend the war-chest they keep hearing about.

    If Arsenal is not careful, Robin Van Persie will be heading the same way.

Thierry Henry

4 of 5

    The legend himself, Thierry Henry’s name will be forever associated with the Gunners.

    The all-time leading goal scorer has just completed his second spell at the club with a short loan move from New York Red Bulls, notching three goals in seven appearances in all competitions (all as a substitute).

    All Arsenal fans remember the day when it was announced that Thierry Henry had joined Barcelona. In his departing message, he mentioned he would always be a Gunner.

    But could Arsenal have kept him?

    Arsene Wenger told the BBC it was Henry's choice to leave but with his blessing.

    If there were some new faces brought in and a sign of ambition from the club, that may have prompted Henry to stay with the Gunners at least for a couple more seasons.

    We will never know whether he would have stayed, but we will always be left thinking of what could have been.

    Was there something that could have been done to keep the Highbury hero at The Emirates just a bit longer?

Gilberto Silva

5 of 5

    This may be a surprise inclusion for some, But when Gilberto Silva was sold to Panathinaikos, I felt he still had a couple of years left in which he could of really helped out the Arsenal midfield.

    Arsenal have always had problems filling the gap in their midfield left by Patrick Vieira who joined Juventus, but Gilberto was the antidote to that. He was a tough tackling midfielder known for getting a goal or two.

    In his last season at Arsenal, he saw his playing time cut. This prompted his move away from the club.

    Arsene Wenger was short-sighted in not playing him, as having his leadership for a couple more seasons would have helped the development of the young guns.