Arsenal FC is among one of the biggest clubs in the footballing world. The club is London’s biggest club when it comes to history and culture. They have won 13 league titles, ranking third when it comes to having the most league titles in England. Arsenal also holds the record for winning the FA Cup the most number of times as they boast a total of 14. With such rich culture and heritage, the club has been host to many legendary players over the years. In this article, we look at the 5 greatest players who have represented Arsenal.
#5 Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieria was regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, he was the complete midfielder. A proper box-to-box dominating midfielder, known for his aggressive and highly competitive style of play. This attitude of his also helped him excel as a captain as he led the club to an infamous unbeatable season in 03/04. He helped Arsenal achieve a sustained period of success during his time at the club, where he lifted four FA Cups and three league titles.
Vieria was named in the Premier League PFA Team of the year for six consecutive seasons from 1994 to 2004. His telescopic-like legs allowed him to recover the ball from the opponents with ease, while they also allowed him to move swiftly past the markers. He was a winner and a leader.
#4 Ian Wright
Ian Wright was a complete goal-scoring machine, who loved scoring goals. It didn’t matter how they came, headers, tap-ins, chips, and even outrageous volleys, Ian loved them all. As long as the ball hit the net, he didn’t mind. In his seven seasons at Arsenal, he lifted the league title, both the major domestic cups and the European Cup Winners Cup. He scored 185 goals in less than 300 games for the club, making him Arsenal’s second-highest scorer of all time.
Wright signed for the club in September 1991 for 2.5m, which at the time was a club-record fee. He went on to become the club’s top goal scorer for the next 6 seasons, a record which has only been broken by Thierry Henry. He was also named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year twice, just another example of the many individual awards he won throughout his career.
#3 Tony Adams
‘One club man’ nothing describes Tony Adams better than these three words, a man who spent nearly two decades at Arsenal. He was a player who was the living embodiment of the club’s spirit and motto, he received a statue outside the Emirates for the same. A world-class defender, but more than that, it was his aura and leadership personality that earned him a place in the hearts of all Gooners.
With Arsenal, he won four top-flight division titles, uniquely captaining a title-winning team in three different decades, three FA Cups, two Carabao Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and two Community Shields. Adams quickly adapted to Arsene’s style of playing, that ability to reinvent himself was a testament to his undoubted ability. It was a fairytale story as the first Premier League title won by Arsene Wenger was crowned with a spectacular goal by Adams at home to Everton. Mr Arsenal indeed.
#2 Dennis Bergkamp
Easily, one of the best non-English players to play in Premier League history was Dennis Bergkamp. He is not just a player, but an icon for the Gunners. Along with Arsene Wenger, Bergkamp is a personality most commonly credited for making Arsenal an elite club. It was under his tenure that Arsenal became home of the most attractive football in the Premier League. Arrived at the club for a shocking 7.5m, which briefly made him the most expensive signing by an English club at the time.
Arsenal liberated him, allowing his thinking and vision to become pivotal for the success that followed. He was honoured with a testimonial when he announced his retirement, it was the first played game in the newly-opened Emirates Stadium. One hundred and twenty-three goals barely do justice to him, he registered as many assists, if not more. Bergkamp may have been unwilling to fly due to his fear of airplanes, but he helped Arsenal soar to new heights.
#1 Thierry Henry
Arguably the best ever player in Premier League history, Thierry Henry is a living legend of the sport. From humble beginnings, Henry finished with an iconic statue outside the Emirates. He is the greatest goalscorer in Arsenal’s history, but his game was more than just scoring goals. It was about his grace, his style of play and his technique. A Picasso of the sport. His lethal combination of pace and technical gifts made him a nightmare for defenders, but for the Arsenal fans, Thierry Henry was a living dream.
226 goals in less than 350 appearances for the Frenchman set the club record, which still is very much intact, making him the top goal scorer in the history of the club. Fittingly, he scored in the final match at Highbury, and Henry being Henry, he grabbed a hat-trick. It’s the stuff of dreams. He won the Premier League Golden Boot a record four times, one of the many examples of how successful his stint at the club was. He even returned to the club for a glorious second spell to enhance his legend, as he tops this list of the 5 greatest players who have represented Arsenal.