5 of the best homegrown players in Arsenal's history
Arsenal has always had a very successful academy system. Back in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, bringing through youth was very important. There were transfers, but not as many as now. Therefore for Arsenal to have won titles in 1971, 1989 and 1991, they had to have an excellent academy.
In recent years Arsenal’s academy has been somewhat less successful. But with the likes of Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles now seeing a direct route into the first team, it could be on the rise once again.
Here are Arsenal’s five best home-grown players of all time.
#5 David Rocastle
David Rocastle is an Arsenal legend and deserves to be, having started out at the club so early and achieving so much.
He had an abundance of talent. He was an incredible dribbler of the ball, and despite not scoring many, the ones he did score were almost always fantastic goals. But his contribution didn’t include only attacking. To play in George Graham’s system, it was required to track back, and he did that extremely well too.
He knew what it meant to play for Arsenal and how prestigious the club was. Growing up with Ian Wright, he knew him very well when the opportunity arose for Wright to join the club. He urged him to sign for the club and told him it’s ‘The Arsenal’, illustrating he knew how much it meant to play for the Gunners.
Although he was to move on to Leeds, Manchester City and Chelsea after his long spell with the Gunners, he still has a place in the memory of all Arsenal fans. Even to this day some fans still occasionally sing his chant “Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocastle” in remembrance of the midfielder who has now sadly passed away.
In eight years at the club, starting out as just a 17-year-old, he made 228 league appearances and won two league titles and a league cup. Arsenal would love a young player to come through with the talent and desire of a Rocastle today.
The famous Arsenal number seven will never be forgotten.