The number 10 jersey is regarded as one of the most iconic numbers in the sport, as it has been word by many legends of the game. Some of them being Maradona, Messi, Zidane, etc. The number 10 jersey has been donned by many great players for the Gunners, any player who is given this number is expected to be flamboyant in attack and make the difference by creating chances for the team. In this article, we look at the top 5 number 10s who have represented Arsenal.
#5 Jack Wilshere
Regarded as one of Hale End’s brightest talents, Jack Wilshere rose up the ranks and went on to become the youngest ever debutant for Arsenal. He joined Arsenal’s academy at the age of just 9 and made his senior debut at the age of 16 as he replaced Robin Van Persie against Blackburn Rovers. Even though, Jack’s most famous and iconic performance was when he was wearing number 19 against Barca.
Wilshere was a Gunner through and through and was given the number 10 jersey. He went on to lift 2 FA Cups before eventually leaving the club in 2018 as he joined West Ham United. Wilshere was considered the most technically gifted player in England, but things did not go his way and now Jack is a free agent.
#4 Paul Merson
Paul Merson spent most of his career in Red and White as he represented the Gunners for 12 long years, which saw him make over 300 appearances for the club. He joined the club in 1984 but went on loan to Brentford and then eventually made his debut in 1986 against Manchester City. He gradually gained the trust of George Graham and became a crucial part of Graham’s successful Arsenal side in the late 1980s.
In 1988-89, Arsenal won the first division title on the last matchday as they defeated Liverpool. Paul Merson played a key role and was a nailed starter on the right wing by that time, as he scored more than 10 goals that season. That season, Merson was also voted the PFA Young Player Of The Year.
#3 Mesut Ozil
There are little to no signings that come close to the level of excitement there was among Arsenal fans when Mesut Ozil joined the Gunners. After establishing himself as one of the key players at Real Madrid, he shockingly left the Galacticos in 2013 as he was convinced by then Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger to join Arsenal. During his 8 seasons at Arsenal, Mesut created a legacy for himself and was a hero among the fans.
Mesut’s quality was world-class, to say the least. His best season was in 2015/16 where he created a record of the most chances created by any player in a PL season with 146. Even though it was not the end Mesut and Arsenal fans wanted, he had a memorable stint at the club.
#2 Robin Van Persie
RVP was signed by Arsene Wenger in 2004 as a long-term replacement for Dennis Bergkamp. Van Persie thrived heavily under Wenger and the system Arsenal played, perfectly suited his style which led him to win the Golden Boot with the Gunners as well. The season he joined, he won a Community Shield and a FA Cup the very next season. His 2011 season is regarded as his personal best, as he scored 35 goals in just 36 games.
Even though he left Arsenal in a manner that did not please the Gunners, he is still one of the best players to don the number 10 jersey for Arsenal.
#1 Dennis Bergkamp
A player which is described as the very epitome of the number 10 jersey is Dennis Bergkamp. One of Arsenal’s most prominent players in the history of the club, Dennis was simply a class apart. The Dutchman was one of the reasons Arsenal went on to complete their Invincibles feat, as well as winning the doubles twice in his 10 years at Highbury.
At Arsenal, he won three league titles, four Fa Cups and helped Arsenal come this close to lifting their first UCL title in 2006 against Barcelona. Bergkamp’s goal against Newcastle United was voted as the best PL goal of all time in the history of the tournament, as he takes the top spot in this list of Top 5 number 10s who have represented Arsenal.