World Football Exclusive: The Top 50 Arsenal Players of All Time

Callum D'SouzaSenior Writer INovember 16, 2011

World Football Exclusive: The Top 50 Arsenal Players of All Time

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    Arsenal are a great club. The Gunners are one of the most supported, most known, richest and most renowned clubs in World Football with their entertaining style of play, their rich history, their huge stadium, their amazing professionalism.

    It is hard not to like the North London giants and although success may have dried up in recent years, few can argue of the calibre and integrity this club has. As a great club, it is only natural to have great players and boy, are there some tremendous Arsenal players.

    Too many to count; however, BleacherReport likes a challenge and we aim to establish the top 50 Arsenal players of all time. But just who is worthy of the top 50? Certainly not Samir Nasri, but there a definitely a large array to choose from, so who makes the list?

    Take a look.

    *In no real order.

Pat Jennings

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    Tenure: 1977-1985
    Arsenal Appearances: 327
    Arsenal Goals: 0
    Achievements: 1978 FA Cup

    One of the greatest goalkeepers to grace English football, Jennings did the unthinkable in 1977 and left Tottenham for arch rivals Arsenal to continue what was already a superb career.

    A natural leader and a true patron of English football, the Northern Irishman became the backbone of the Gunners during the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Alex James

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    Tenure: 1929-1937
    Arsenal Appearances: 261
    Arsenal Goals: 27
    Achievements: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935 League championships, 1930, 1936 FA Cup titles

    Regarded as the Dennis Bergkamp of his generation and renowned for his baggy shorts, Alex James is considered one of the greatest players to grace English football.

    A creative, intelligent dynamo who constantly set up his attackers. Many players thrived beside James due to his near-perfect passing range and impressive awareness, particularly legendary striker Cliff Bastin. The Scot was also a natural leader and captained Arsenal to the 1936 triumph.

    Regarded as one of the best goal creators of all time, James was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his contribution to the English game. Unfortunately, James passed away on June 1, 1953.

George Armstrong

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    Tenure: 1961-1977
    Arsenal Appearances: 621
    Arsenal Goals: 68
    Achievements: 1970/71 League Championship and FA Cup, 1970 European Fairs' Cup

    He's one of Arsenal's most loved players who amassed over 600 games in the Red and White, good for third all time in Arsenal's history. George Armstrong's powerful darts down the flanks dominated the '60s and '70s, as the Englishman emerged as one of the most consistent Arsenal figures during his period.

    A small and tenacious midfielder, Armstrong made his debut for the Gunners as a 17-year-old in 1962, having joined Arsenal in 1961 as a youth. Integral in the North London giants' historic 1971 FA and League double, Graham was a fan favourite in North London.

    With a stellar 16-year playing career for the Gunners, Graham was the Gunners' 1970 Player of the Year. The Durham-born winger was also a prominent figure in the Arsenal reserves and development sides and is credited for nurturing the likes of Ray Parlour, Paul Dickov and Steve Morrow.

    Tragically on Oct. 21, 2000, Armstrong collapsed at an Arsenal training session due to a brain hemorrhage and later died. Black armbands were worn in his honour the following match.

    An Arsenal legend.

David Jack

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    Tenure: 1928-1934
    Arsenal Appearances: 208
    Arsenal Goals: 124
    Achievements: 1930/31,1932/33, 1933/34 League Championships and the 1930 FA Cup

    A fast, evasive player, the Englishman became the first player in football history to transfer for more than £10,000 when he joined the Gunners from Bolton for £10,890. A brilliant playmaker who was also incredible in front of the goal, as his statistics highlight with 124 strikes.

    Most notably, Jack recorded 34 during the triumphant 1930/1931 season. The Englishman's prolific form has earned him the honor of being the ninth highest Arsenal goal scorer.

    Unfortunately, Jack died on Sept. 10, 1958. He was 59.

Sol Campbell

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    Tenure: 2001-2006,2010
    Arsenal Appearances: 209
    Arsenal Goals: 12
    Achievements: 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2004,2005 FA Cups, 2002, 2004 FA Community Shields

    The Englishman established himself as one of the toughest defenders in England with Tottenham before joining the Gunners in 2001 after his contract expired.

    Campbell was integral in Wenger's success of the early 2000's with consistent displays as a centre half.

    Composed, fierce and a natural leader, Sol Campbell remains one of the greatest Arsenal defenders of all time.

Brian Talbot

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    Tenure: 1979-1985
    Arsenal Appearances:
    Arsenal Goals: 49
    Achievements: 1979 FA Cup

    A tough, no-nonsense midfielder whose tireless work, combined with an ability to find the goal, ensured he was an influential presence in the Arsenal side during the 80's.

    Boasting impeccable fitness and impressive defensive tenacity, the Englishman solidified Arsenal's midfield. Talbot's immense stamina and fitness ensured he rarely missed a game for the Gunners, and he constantly inspired others.

    A tough, talented midfielder, Talbot left Highbury in 1985 for Watford, but remains a respected figure in Arsenal history.

Gilberto Silva

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    Tenure: 2002-2008
    Arsenal Appearances: 237
    Arsenal Goals: 24
    Achievements: 2003/2004 Premier League title, 2002/2003 and 2004/2005 FA Cup titles, 2002 and 2004 Community Shield titles.

    One of the most respected and composed midfielders in Arsenal history, Gilberto was a calm, assuring presence in the Arsenal midfield and played a pivotal role in the Gunners' 2003/2004 Premier League title in which Arsene Wenger's side failed to admit defeat for the entire English Premier League season.

    The Brazilian joined Arsenal from Atlético Mineiro for £4.5 million, after achieving the 2002 World Cup with Brazil. Gilberto would then go on to establish himself as one of the organised midfielders in World Football, as his effective defensive displays became a thriving part of the Gunners' midfield.

    A natural leader and peace maker, the Samba Star is an outstanding figure to Arsenal, Brazil and World Football in general. Gilberto joined Greek giants Panathinaikos in 2008, concluding an excellent career in the Red and White.

Martin Keown

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    Tenure: 1980-1986. 1993-2004
    Arsenal Appearances: 449
    Arsenal Goals: 8
    Achievements: 1997/1998, 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles,1998, 2002, 2003 FA Cup,1998,1999, 2002 FA Community Shield, 1994 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

    Considered one of the toughest and most efficient defenders of his generation, Martin Keown bled red and white. The former England international is widely known as one of the best man markers of his generation, and was always seen as a fan favourite.

    Keown won an outstanding nine major trophies whilst at Highbury and led from the front in each outing. The centre half had a somewhat aggressive side but was nevertheless a superb defender and legend for the Gunners.

David Seaman

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    Tenure: 1990-2003
    Arsenal Appearances: 564
    Arsenal Goals: 0
    Achievements: League Championship 1991, 1998, 2002, FA Cup 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, League Cup 1993, European Cup Winners' Cup 1994

    One of the greatest Arsenal players of all time, and easily the greatest Gunners keeper. With his ponytail and amazing reflexes, the Englishman was a stalwart in the Arsenal goal for well over a decade. During this time, he achieved monumental status and became a regular for England.

    A fearless leader and true Arsenal player, few have forgotten David Seaman. During the 2003 FA Cup Final, Seaman pulled off a save that many consider one of the best all time..

Cliff Bastin

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    Tenure: 1929-1946
    Arsenal Appearances: 396
    Arsenal Goals: 178
    Achievements: 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1938 League Championships, 1930, 1936 FA Cups

    One of the greatest Arsenal strikers of all time, Cliff Bastin was a hugely clinical figure for the Gunners, amassing historic goal scoring figures.

    He long held the record of Arsenal's top goalscorer before Ian Wright and then Thierry Henry surpassed him. Bastin was an energetic, skillful forward, who was arguably the best player of his generation.

Ian Wright

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    Tenure: 1991-1998
    Arsenal Appearances: 288
    Arsenal Goals: 185
    Achievements: League Championship 1998, FA Cup 1993, 1998, League Cup 1993, European Cup Winners' Cup 1994

    The Englishman flourished at Arsenal, where he became one of the best English strikers of the '90s. A quick, small yet clinical striker, Wright managed 30 goals or more in four of his six seasons at the Gunners, and only once managed less than 20.

    A natural leader and one heck of a goal scorer, Wright is a true Arsenal legend.

Cesc Fabregas

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    Tenure: 2003-2011
    Arsenal Appearances: 303
    Arsenal Goals: 57
    Achievements: 2004/2005 FA Cup

    Arsenal's youngest ever player to debut professionally, Cesc Fabregas may just be the most technically perfect and intelligent player Arsenal has ever possessed.The Spaniard has been one of World Football's best players of the last decade, yet he is merely 24 years old.

    Fabregas arrived in 2003; at 16 years and 177 days, he became the youngest Arsenal player. Since then, the Spanish international has gone from strength to strength with each season, continuing to convey amazing maturity, skill, creativity and composure.

    Fabregas was named captain in November 2008 and has twice made the PFA Premier League Team of the Year, alongside winning Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain. Fabregas returned to Barcelona, after years of speculation, in the recent summer for £35 million.

David O'Leary

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    Tenure: 1973-1993
    Arsenal Appearances: 722
    Arsenal Goals: 14
    Achievements: 1988/1989, 1990/1991 League Titles, 1993 FA Cup, 1993 League Cup, European Cup Winners Cup Winners, 1991 Charity Cup

    O'Leary holds a club record 722 appearances for Arsenal, considered one of the greatest defenders in English football history, and achieved monumental success with the Gunners. Worthy?

    The Irishman was cool, calm and collected at the back with impressive control and skill. O'Leary was also a natural leader who was immensely respected throughout England.

    A spectacular 20 years at the club and a charisma that was huge, the tall centre half was a star in the red and white.

Marc Overmars

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    Tenure: 1997-2000
    Arsenal Appearances: 142
    Arsenal Goals: 41
    Achievements: 1997/1998 Premier League, 1998 FA Cup, 1998 Charity Shield

    The Dutch sensation was a devastatingly quick winger who tormented defences and possessed a vicious strike. Overmars was a success in English football, as his superb speed made him an effective attacker.

    Incredibly potent on the wing, the Dutchman was a huge asset to the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and the other Arsenal strikers. Overmars also managed to maintain a healthy goal-scoring rate and boasted an impressive 16 during his first season with the Gunners.

    Overmars was integral as Wenger's men secured the 1997/1998 FA and League double in what was easily the Dutch international's best season. Overmars was then sold to Barcelona in 2000 for an outstanding £25 million, making him the most expensive Dutch player of all time.

    At the time, it also made him the most expensive player to be sold by a British club, and the most expensive to be signed by a Spanish club.

John Radford

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    Tenure: 1962-1976
    Arsenal Appearances: 481
    Arsenal Goals: 147
    Achievements: League Championship 1971, FA Cup 1971, European Fairs Cup 1970

    John Radford was a superb striker who was integral to the Gunners' '70s dominance. The Englishman was a youth star for the North London giants before breaking into the Arsenal first team at the age of 17.

    Radford was the youngest player ever to score a hat trick in the red and white, achieving the feat against Wolverhampton at the age of 17 and 315 days.

    A quick and powerful forward who formed some lethal partnerships during his day, Radford is currently ranked fourth on the all-time Arsenal scorers list and is still very much involved at Arsenal.

Peter Storey

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    Tenure: 1961-1977
    Arsenal Appearances: 501
    Arsenal Goals: 17
    Achievements: League Championship 1971, FA Cup 1971, European Fairs Cup 1970

    The English defender was cool, composed and tough, enjoying a long and healthy career in North London. Storey became renowned for his tough and aggressive defence alongside his effective tackles.

    Another pivotal presence during the Gunners' 1971 double and overall '70s dominance, the Englishman is best remembered for his composed double, which included a stoppage-time penalty, to help Arsenal beat Stoke in the 1971 FA Cup semifinal.

Nigel Winterburn

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    Tenure: 1987-2000
    Arsenal Appearances: 584
    Arsenal Goals: 12
    Achievements: League Championship 1989, 1991, 1998, FA Cup 1993, 1998, League Cup 1993, European Cup Winners Cup 1994

    Often considered the greatest Arsenal left back of all time, Nigel Winterburn was a strong and powerful full back who enjoyed huge success at the Gunners. Signed from Wimbledon for £350,000, the Englishman became renowned for his sharp tackling and tireless work rate.

    Winterburn established himself as a premier left back in England and was part of the backbone defensive line that was so powerful as Arsenal took out the 1989 and 1991 first division titles. The emergence of Arsene Wenger in 1996 prolonged his career and Winterburn played a vital role in the 1997/1998 double.

    A tremendous presence who will always be respected throughout England.

Steve Bould

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    Tenure: 1988-1999
    Arsenal Appearances: 372
    Arsenal Goals: 8
    Achievements: League Championship 1989, 1991, 1998, FA Cup 1993, 1998, League Cup 1993, European Cup Winners Cup 1994

    One of the toughest Arsenal defenders of all time, Steve Bould played a vital role in all of Arsenal's '90s success, forming a powerful partnership with the likes of Tony Adams and Martin Keown.

    The Englishman achieved the Arsenal Player of the Year during the 1991/1992 season before acquiring the rare feat of Arsenal's first-ever Premier League goal.

    Bould's experience proved huge during the Gunners' 1997/1998 Double before age got the better of the veteran and Bould departed to Sunderland in 1999. The 48-year-old is now the head of the Arsenal youth squad.

George Graham

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    Tenure: 1966-1972
    Arsenal Appearances: 308
    Arsenal Goals: 77
    Achievements: 1970/1971 League title, 1971 FA Cup, 1970 European Fairs Cup

    A notable Arsenal manager, George Graham was also a hugely talented midfielder who was a permanent figure for the Gunners in the late 60's and early 70's.

    The Scot was integral in Arsenal's double success of 1970/1971, Graham earned mass praise for his awareness, creativity and speed. He was a natural leader and intelligent reader of the game, qualities that shone in his success as a manager.

    Graham will always be a legend in Arsenal history

Ted Drake

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    Tenure: 1934-1945
    Arsenal Appearances: 184
    Arsenal Goals: 139
    Achievements: League Championship 1935, 1938, 1936 FA Cup

    There is no better way to win fans over than scoring a club-record 44 goals in your second season. That is exactly what magnificent goal-scorer Ted Drake achieved during the 1934/1935 winning season for Arsenal.

    The Englishman was an amazing footballer who possessed immaculate skill, speed and bravery. Drake was top scorer for Arsenal in every one of his first five seasons in North London and even recorded a club-record 7 in one match.

    Injuries continually plagued the striker; however, he still maintained his calibre and skill but was forced to retire in 1945.

    Ted Drake sadly passed away on the 30th of May 1995; he was 82.

Jimmy Brain

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    Tenure: 1923-1931
    Arsenal Appearances: 232
    Arsenal Goals: 139
    Achievements: N/A

    Any Arsenal player who scores a winner against Tottenham is considered a legend, but to score on your debut is certainly something.

    Jimmy Brain was an immensely prolific goal scorer for the Gunners and although he later left for Tottenham, the Englishman will always be an Arsenal legend.

    Brain was the first Arsenal player to achieve 100 goals for the club and his efforts saw the Gunners' make their first FA Cup Final.

Ashley Cole

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    Tenure: 1997-2006
    Arsenal Appearances: 228
    Arsenal Goals: 9
    Achievements: 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2002, 2003, 2005 FA Cup, 2002 FA Community Shield

    The energetic Englishman is one of the greatest graduates of the Arsenal academy and a player who was a vital part of the Gunners' and Wenger's early noughties success.

    Cole was an Arsenal supporter growing up and made his debut as an 18-year-old in 1999 before going on to establish himself as the best left back in England.

    Not only was Cole a superb defender, but he was also a tenacious attacker whose runs and crosses provided great assistance to the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires.

    However, Cole left on bad terms at Arsenal in 2006, when he left to rivals Chelsea for increased wages.

Lee Dixon

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    Tenure: 1988-2002
    Arsenal Appearances: 619
    Arsenal Goals: 28
    Achievements: League Championship 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002, FA Cup 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, League Cup 1993, European Cup Winners' Cup 1994

    A fearless and loved right back Lee Dixon was ever-present during the late 80's and 1990's success Arsenal achieved. The Englishman was small yet fierce whose attacking prowess and eye for goal were also hugely important to the Gunners.

    Dixon formed powerful partnerships with the likes of Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Martin Keown and Steve Bould as the renowned "back four" emerged. The Englishman was never one to shy away from confrontation, either, and he will always be considered one of the greatest right backs of his time.

Alan Ball Jr.

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    Tenure: 1971-1976
    Arsenal Appearances:
    Arsenal Goals: 52
    Achievements: N/A

    Although Alan Ball Jr. failed to achieve silverware with Arsenal, the Englishman was a fearless leader who gave it his all for the Gunners, and constantly produced sensational football with moments of brilliance.

    Ball was made captain in 1974 as the North London giants began to enter a slight decline. Nonetheless, the English international continued to perform at an immense level before leaving Highbury in 1976 to join Southampton for £60,000.

    An English veteran who enjoyed a strong stint in management, Ball died on April 25, 2007, as a footballing legend.

Ray Parlour

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    Tenure: 1989-2004
    Arsenal Appearances: 466
    Arsenal Goals: 32
    Achievements: 1997/1998, 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2003 FA Cup titles, 1998,1999 and 2002 Community Shield titles, 1993 League Cup and the 1994 European Cup Winners' Cup.

    A true Arsenal fan favourite and much-loved figure, Ray Parlour, or the "Romford Pele," will always be a shining light in Arsenal's history. Parlour joined Arsenal in 1989 at the age of 16 as a trainee, and in 1992 he made his first team debut against Liverpool and famously conceded a penalty.

    After a slow few years, the Englishman began to thrive at Highbury and soon emerged as a strong, composed midfielder who controlled the middle of the field.

    Often working tirelessly, particularly in defence, the more creative Arsenal attackers often stole the limelight, and Parlour became viewed as one of the most underrated players in World Football as a result.

    Nonetheless, the England international was an integral part of Arsenal for the 1990's and early 2000's and played a strong role in the famous 2003/2004 Invincibles. Notable moments included a stellar hat trick against Werder Bremen in the 2000 UEFA Cup and the opening goal in the 2002 FA Cup final.

    A true Arsenal legend.

Emmanuel Petit

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    Tenure: 1997-2000
    Arsenal Appearances: 118
    Arsenal Goals: 11
    Achievements: Premier League title 1997/1998 and FA Cup 1998

    With his handsome ponytail and aggressive temperament, Emmanuel Petit starred in the English Premier League during a somewhat short but effective stint with Arsenal. The Frenchman arrived from AS Monaco for £2.5 million in 1997 and immediately thrived under his former manager, Arsene Wenger, in the Arsenal midfield.

    Strong, tenacious, quick and composed, Petit formed a vicious partnership with Patrick Vieira and was influential as Arsenal took out a prestigious League and FA Cup double during the 1997/1998 season, the first of Arsene Wenger's success.

    Petit's ability to cut down defence, aid defenders and play inch-perfect passes dominated Arsenal's attacking flow alongside his admirable work rate. The Frenchman also played a vital role as France achieved the FIFA 1998 World Cup before departing North London for Barcelona in a £7 million deal.

    Nonetheless, a truly quality midfielder.

Bob Wilson

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    Tenure: 1963-1974
    Arsenal Appearances: 308
    Arsenal Goals: 0
    Achievements: 1970/1971 League title, 1971 FA Cup, 1970 European Fairs Cup

    The English goalkeeper adored Arsenal and was a brilliant shot stopper, particularly during the glory of the early 1970's. Wilson had sharp reflexes and a fantastic leadership that many of his team mates commended.

    The shot stopper enjoyed a lengthy career at the Gunners' that was so strong due to hard work and consistency. Following his departure as a player, Wilson spent 28 years as the Arsenal goalkeeping coach.

    A true legend and patron of the club.

Kolo Toure

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    Tenure: 2002-2009
    Arsenal Appearances:
    Arsenal Goals: 14
    Achievements: 2003/2004 Premier League title, 2002/2003 and 2004/2005 FA Cup titles, 2002 and 2004 Community Shield titles

    One of Arsene Wenger's best buys, due to the low cost and the performances Ivorian Kolo Toure produced.

    Initially a utility player, covering roles in the midfield and even at striker, the African star established himself as an immense centre back—particularly during Arsenal's 2003/2004 Invincibles campaign.

    A composed, energetic player, Toure was well regarded by team mates and fans, but unfortunately an ongoing dispute with William Gallas saw Wenger wrongly sell Toure to Manchester City for £16 million in 2009.

David Rocastle

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    Tenure: 1983-1992
    Arsenal Appearances: 277
    Arsenal Goals: 34
    Achievements: 1988/1989 and 1990/1991 League Championship titles, 1987 Football League Cup, 1991 FA Charity Shield

    A player held in the highest regard by World Football, David "Rocky" Rocastle was a superb midfielder who combined strength and skill to dominate English football during the 80's and early 90's. Rocastle was an Arsenal youth, whose debut arrived in 1985. The story goes that Rocastle used to dribble with his head down, until it was realized he did this because he could not clearly see the pitch. He then acquired contact lenses for help and his career took off.

    Rocastle played every game of Arsenal's 1988/1989 title triumph, emerging as one of the best midfielders in England. The England international then played an equally effective role in the 1990/1991 campaign. Rocastle's speed, poise, tenacity and passion shone throughout his Arsenal career despite often enduring injury woes.

    Unfortunately, the legend died on March 31, 2001, of Hodgson's Lymphona at the tender age of 33. Five years and a day after his death, April 1, 2006, was designated "David Rocastle Day," as part of the themed match day celebrations of Arsenal's final season at their stadium Highbury, a 5-0 win over Aston Villa.

    Arsenal have also opened up a new youth team indoor training facility named after him, as a tribute to his contributions to the club. Rocastle is also one of 32 Arsenal legends honored by having their images painted on the side of the new Emirates stadium.

George Eastham

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    Tenure: 1960-1966
    Arsenal Appearances: 223
    Arsenal Goals: 41
    Achievements: N/A

    The midfielder was signed in odd circumstances in 1960 but it ceased to matter as Eastham secured two goals on his debut against Bolton.

    An intelligent, creative play maker who boasted an expert passing range, the Englishman, who was part of the 1966 winning squad, played an integral role in the prolific nature of striker Joe Baker.

    The duo formed an impressive partnership but unfortunately, no silverware success ever emerged for the Gunners. Nonetheless, Eastham was a tireless worker whose calibre will always be remembered.

Anders Limpar

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    Tenure: 1990-1994
    Arsenal Appearances: 116
    Arsenal Goals: 20
    Achievements: League title 1990/1991, FA and League Cup double 1992/1993

    The Swedish dynamo was devastating during his spell at Highbury.

    Limpar's speed and balance as a midfielder made him a dominating presence who could not only set up, but score goals for the Gunners. Signed from Italian outfit Cremonese, the Swede was a crowd favourite at Highbury due to his energy and flair.

    A pivotal part of the 1990/1991 League title and the renowned Cup double of 1992/1993, Limpar was also a set-piece genius who could make the dead ball do wicked things. Limpar achieved the Guldbollen Sweden's Player of the Year award whilst with Arsenal in 1991.

    He left the Gunners for Everton in 1994.

Kenny Sanson

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    Tenure: 1980-1988
    Arsenal Appearances: 394
    Arsenal Goals: 6
    Achievements: League Cup 1987

    A tough and consistent left back, he is considered one of the best English fullbacks of all time. The Arsenal Player of the Year in 1981, Samson was strong and powerful, surprisingly for a man of his size, the Englishman was also blessed with speed and balance alongside a devastating cross.

    Sansom became a regular for England during his time at Arsenal and also captained Arsenal to victory during the 1987 League Cup Final.

Jens Lehmann

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    Tenure: 2003-2008, 2011
    Arsenal Appearances: 194
    Arsenal Goals: 0
    Achievements: 2003/2004 Premier League, 2004 Community Shield, 2005 FA Cup

    The mad yet phenomenal keeping presence of Jens Lehmann brought Arsenal fans joy, as the German was a superb keeping force who occasionally indulged in moments of madness.

    In his first season at the Gunners, Lehmann played 36 matches out of the 38 Premier League games in the Invincibles season.

    Furthermore, the former German international 'keeper set the UEFA Champions League record for the most consecutive clean sheets, having not conceded a goal in 10 matches during the 2005/2006 competition, where Arsenal were runners up

Sylvain Wiltord

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    Tenure: 2000-2004
    Arsenal Appearances: 173
    Arsenal Goals: 49
    Achievements: 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2002, 2003 FA Cup, 2002 FA Community Shield

    The Frenchman was a record signing for Arsenal at the time, but proved a valuable buy nonetheless. Wiltord had become one of the best strikers in France and showed no troubles continuing his efficiency in England.

    The striker will always be remembered for his Premiership-clinching strike against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Robin van Persie

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    Tenure: 2004-
    Arsenal Appearances: 244
    Arsenal Goals: 107
    Achievements: 2004/2005 FA Cup

    Considered the ultimate modern-day forward, Robin van Persie is the current heart and soul of Arsenal—their fearless leader and their unstoppable goal scorer. Elegant, creative, aggressive and strong, van Persie has grown at Arsenal despite a number of injury woes.

    The Dutchman boasts a lethal left foot and free-kick brilliance, ensuring he is touted as the best player to emulate Dennis Bergkamp. Van Persie recently achieved 100 goals for the club and despite little silverware success in his career at the Emirates, has always been a true leader and patron.

    Currently has 30 goals from 34 appearances in 2011.

Nwankwo Kanu

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    Tenure: 1999-2004
    Arsenal Appearances: 198
    Arsenal Goals: 44
    Achievements: 2001, 2002 and 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 FA Cup titles, 1999 Community Shield

    The imposing Nigerian was a strong, powerful striker who played a large part in Arsenal's early 2000 FA Cup and League triumphs.

    The striker will always be remembered for his stunning hat-trick in 15 minutes to ensure Arsenal overturned a 2-0 deficit against rivals Chelsea. Predominantly an impact substitution player, Kanu was always reliable and composed near goal.

Tony Adams

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    Tenure: 1983-2002
    Arsenal Appearances: 669
    Arsenal Goals: 48
    Achievements: 1988/1989, 1990/1991 1997/1998, 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles,1998, 2002, 2003 FA Cup, 1993 1998,1999, 2002 FA Community Shield, 1987, 1993 League Cup, 1994 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

    An ultimate one team defender who is considered the best Arsenal defender of all time. A natural, calm leader whose effective tackling and aerial dominance thrived at the Gunners'. Few can compete with the achievements and appearances the Englishman secured at Highbury and his leadership and experience saw the Gunners' achieve ten major trophies whilst he was present.

    A legend.

Paul Merson

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    Tenure: 1984-1997
    Arsenal Appearances: 425
    Arsenal Goals: 99
    Achievements: 1988/1989, 1990/1991 League Titles, 1993 FA Cup, 1993 League Cup, European Cup Winners Cup Winners, 1991 Charity Cup

    A lovable and lethal character for Arsenal, Paul Merson was a fan favourite who consistently performed for the Gunners. Fast and strong, the Englishman enjoyed a successful period in Red and White after joining as an apprentice at the age of 16.

    Securing his debut as an 18-year-old, Merson was a permanent presence in the Arsenal line up, able to fulfill a number of roles in attack.

    Outstanding during the 1988/1989 League Cup triumph in which the Englishman concluded the season as the PFA Young Player of the Year, Merson also starred in the 1990/1991 title achievement and the renowned 1993 Cup double.

    The England international then showed superb resilience by admitting in 1994 that he was an alcoholic and cocaine addict, but he successfully turned his life around to continue to thrive at Highbury.

    Merson departed for Middlesbrough in 1997 for £5 million.

Joe Baker

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    Tenure: 1962-1966
    Arsenal Appearances: 156
    Arsenal Goals: 100
    Achievements: N/A

    Success is not always partnered with greatness. During Joe Baker's tenure at the Gunners, they never finished higher than seventh. Nonetheless, the small striker was a star in North London, becoming one of the most prolific players of the century.

    Baker amassed 100 goals in only 156 appearances, finishing as top scorer in all four of his seasons. The Englishman was small yet devastatingly fast and possessed a lethal strike. The fans adored Baker and his efforts at Highbury often go unnoticed, but Joe Baker truly was an amazing player.

Paul Davis

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    Tenure: 1977-1995
    Arsenal Appearances: 447
    Arsenal Goals: 37
    Achievements: 1988/1989, 1990/1991 League Titles, 1993 FA Cup, 1993 League Cup, European Cup Winners Cup Winners, 1991 Charity Cup

    An 18-season legend of Arsenal, Paul David breathed Arsenal football, having grown up in London before joining the Gunners as a youth at the age of 16. The Englishman was a tough, imposing figure who impressed with his constant consistency and incisive passing.

    Davis achieved numerous titles during his tenure and was often viewed as an assuring presence whose composure was invaluable. However, he was most renowned for his resilience. The Englishman endured many injuries during his time at Highbury but always returned strongly in a no-nonsense manner.

    However, there were a few minor dark moments in his career. In 1988, Davis broke Southampton midfielder Glenn Cockerill's jaw during a tussle. The incident, which was not seen by either the referee or his assistants, became the first indiscretion to be disciplined through use of television evidence.

    Davis was banned for nine matches, which was, at the time, the longest ban ever handed down for an on-field incident, and he was also fined a then-record £3,000.

    Nonetheless, Davis was a strong midfielder for the Gunners, and he departed in 1995 to Norwegian side Stabæk.

Alan Smith

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    Tenure: 1987-1995
    Arsenal Appearances: 347
    Arsenal Goals: 115
    Achievements: 1988/1989, 1990/1991 League Titles, 1993 FA Cup, 1993 League Cup, European Cup Winners Cup Winners, 1991 Charity Cup

    Alan Smith was a terrific striker. Tall, powerful and lethal, the Englishman was equally fast and composed, enjoying a stellar Arsenal career. Smith was Arsenal's top scorer on four consecutive seasons alongside twice receiving the First Division Top Scorer award.

    The former England international scored 23 goals in the title winning 1988/1989 campaign before setting up Michael Thomas for the famous equalizer. Smith also scored in the 1994 European Cup Winners' Cup Final.

    Currently a commentator on EA Sports' FIFA 12.

Frank McLintock

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    Tenure: 1964-1973
    Arsenal Appearances: 403
    Arsenal Goals: 32
    Achievements: 1970/1971 League title, 1971 FA Cup, 1970 European Fairs Cup

    A versatile and effective player whose captaincy at Arsenal lead the Gunners to greatness. McLintock was a hard working, powerful defender who could cover almost any position on the pitch.

    The Englishman was appointed captain in 1967 and his immense leadership during the 1970/1971 season saw the Gunners' take out the 'Double.'

    McLintock's composure, stamina and intelligence was first class and it was highlighted with the FWA Player of the Year award in 1971. He left the Gunners' for QPR in 1973 after a long and successful career and the recognition as one of Arsenal's greatest captains.

Pat Rice

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    Tenure: 1964-1974
    Arsenal Appearances: 528
    Arsenal Goals: 13
    Achievements: 1970/1971 League title, 1971, 1979 FA Cup,

    Pat Rice has become renowned as Arsene Wenger's loyal and lovable deputy and assistant. However, during his playing days, the Northern Irishman was one of the most loved and hard-working Arsenal players of all time.

    A club captain in 1977, Rice was known for his hard work and energy alongside his work ethic. Rice loved Arsenal and played a record five  FA Cup Finals for his beloved club.

    The fullback was the powerful right back during the 1970/1971 double, and his efforts with Arsene Wenger intensify fans' love for Mr Rice.

Liam Brady

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    Tenure: 1971-1980
    Arsenal Appearances: 307
    Arsenal Goals: 59
    Achievements: 1979 FA Cup

    Liam Brady is an Arsenal legend. The Irishman combined strength, speed, composure, intelligence and leadership to be a commanding presence for the Gunners. Joining Highbury in 1971 as a 15-year-old, Brady made his debut as a 17-year-old and went from strength to strength with each game.

    The following season, Brady was a first-team regular and established a impressive partnership with Alan Ball. Consistently conveying high-calibre performances, the Irishman was one of World Football's best midfielders during the 1970's and acquired the nickname "Chippy" due to his ability to chip the ball and his love for fish and chips.

    In 1979, he achieved the PFA Players' award, and during his spell at Arsenal won the Player of the Year award on three occasions. A true midfielder who currently works with the Arsenal youth squad, Brady was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition for his influence on the English game.

Patrick Vieira

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    Tenure: 1996-2005
    Arsenal Appearances: 406
    Arsenal Goals: 33
    Achievements: 1997/1998 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2001/2002, 2002/2003 2004/2005 FA Cup, 1998 2002, 2003 2005 FA Community Shield 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004

    The greatest Arsenal midfielder, hands down.

    The fearless leader who led Arsenal to their Invincible glory, Arsenal have yet to secure silverware since his departure from the club in 2005.

    Vieia arrived at Highbury as an unknown but left a superstar. Acquired by newly appointed Wenger from AC Milan for £3.5 million, Vieira soon became one of World Football's best midfielders.

    Tough, imposing, agile, tenacious, composed, intelligent, the traits were endless. The Frenchman led from the front as he constantly destroyed attacks as a defensive midfielder and created attacks as the dominant play maker.

    Arsenal achieved so much with his presence, and Patrick Vieira is Arsenal's greatest midfielder.

Fredrik Ljungberg

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    Tenure: 1998-2007
    Arsenal Appearances: 328
    Arsenal Goals: 72
    Achievements: 2001/2002 2003/2004 Premier League, 2002, 2003, 2005 FA Cup

    The Swedish winger was another fan favourite, whose energy and powerful surges down the wing tormented defences throughout the late 90's and early 2000's. Ljungberg instantly won fans' hearts when the Swede scored on his debut in the FA Cup against Manchester United, minutes after arriving on the field.

    Acquired from Swedish side Halmstads BK for £3 million, Ljungberg was a smart and evasive winger who possesses an accurate cross but also managed to be a consistent goal scorer, managing a career-best 17 during the 2001/2002 "Double Hat" season.

    A passionate Arsenal player, Ljungberg was an entertaining prospect who always gave his best and was outstanding during the 2003/2004 Invincible season. Ljungberg twice won the Gullbollen whilst with Arsenal.

    A much-loved figure.

Robert Pires

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    Tenure: 2000-2006
    Arsenal Appearances: 284
    Arsenal Goals: 84
    Achievements: 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2001/2002, 2002/2003 2004/2005 FA Cup, 2002, 2004 FA Community Shield

    The Frenchman was an absolute triumph with the Gunners; he could easily be considered the greatest Arsenal winger of all time.

    Fast, balanced, elegant, clinical and creative, Robert Pires was a joy to watch. Pirès was signed by Arsenal for £6 million in 2000, and although he took some time to adjust to the physicality of the English game, he would eventually thrive under Arsene Wenger.

    Not only could the France international set up goals, Pires was a lethal goal threat, securing double figure goal amounts in every season—bar his first—with a career-best 19 during 2003/2004.

    With an amazing partnership with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Fredrick Ljungberg, Pires dazzled and starred, playing a major role in the domination of Arsenal during the early 2000's.

    Pires made the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions and even won the FWA Player of the Year in 2001/2002 after a sublime season. There is no denying Robert Pires was a superb Arsenal midfielder.

Charlie George

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    Tenure: 1966-1975
    Arsenal Appearances: 179
    Arsenal Goals: 49
    Achievements: 1970/1971 League title, 1971 FA Cup, 1970 European Fairs Cup

    The Englishman adored Arsenal growing up and always gave everything during his 179 appearances for the club. George is famous for his amazing goal in the 1971 FA Cup Final against Liverpool which broke the 1-1 deadlock and granted the Gunners' their first 'Double.'

    A skillful and daring striker, whose boyish good looks attracted many girls, George endured injury woes during his tenure at the Gunners but was always a joy to watch and an efficient striker. George will always live long in Arsenal memory.


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    Tenure: 2000-2007
    Arsenal Appearances:
    Arsenal Goals: 33
    Achievements: 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2001/2002, 2002/2003 2004/2005 FA Cup, 2002, 2003 2005 FA Community Shield 2002, 2004

    One of the greatest and underrated Arsenal and English Premier League players. Lauren was a quiet yet tenacious and extremely efficient right back who was almost impossible to evade, and he was pivotal during Arsene Wenger's success in the 2000's.

    A much-loved Arsenal presence, a severe knee injury curtailed his career in North London, but nonetheless the Cameroon international had given a huge amount to the Gunners.

Dennis Bergkamp

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    Tenure: 1995-2006
    Arsenal Appearances: 423
    Arsenal Goals: 120
    Achievements: 1997/1998, 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 1997/1998, 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2004/2005 FA Cup,1998, 2002, 2004 FA Community Shield

    A huge contender for the greatest Arsenal player of all time. An amazing, elegant, skilled forward who produced moments on the football field that epitomized a worldwide love for football.

    The Dutchman was fast, composed and brilliant, playing a vital role in the success that has emerged at Arsenal in the last 15 years.

    Considered the greatest Dutchman of his generation, Bergkamp formed lethal partnerships with the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg and more to form the backbone of the Arsenal dynasty.

Thierry Henry

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    Tenure: 1999-2007
    Arsenal Appearances:
    Arsenal Goals: 226
    Achievements: 2001/2002, 2003/2004 Premier League titles, 2001/2002, 2002/2003 2004/2005 FA Cup, 1998 2002, 2003 2005 FA Community Shield 2002, 2004

    The greatest Arsenal goal scorer of all time. The Frenchman became World Football's best player during his career at the Gunners, showing amazing skill, flair and ability to score. In every season bar his last, Henry amassed over 20 goals, exceeding 30 on five consecutive occasions.

    During Arsenal's monumental 2003/2004 campaign, the Frenchman boasted 39 goals in 51 appearances for Arsenal. A fearless and impressive leader and an amazing striker, words are not enough to describe Thierry Henry's contribution at Arsenal.

    Sold to Barcelona for £24 million in 2007 but quite frankly the greatest Arsenal player of all time.

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