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Arsenal's top 5 academy graduates

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Published Jan 07, 2020
Jan 07, 2020 IST

Ashley Cole is widely disliked by Arsenal fans today, but he remains a great academy product
Ashley Cole is widely disliked by Arsenal fans today, but he remains a great academy product

Over the years, Arsenal have garnered a reputation as a club that love to make the most of young talent, and it stands to reason that their academy has produced some tremendous players over time.

Currently, the Gunners' squad is filled with academy graduates – from Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka to Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock – but even if those players go onto major success in the Premier League and beyond, they’ve got a way to go to catch up to the very best players produced at the North London club.

Here are Arsenal’s 5 best academy graduates.

Honourable Mention: Serge Gnabry

Serge Gnabry could yet become one of Arsenal
Serge Gnabry could yet become one of Arsenal's best ever academy products

It’s probably a little too early in Serge Gnabry’s career to warrant him taking a place on this list, but he’s definitely worthy of an honourable mention. The German international is currently starring for Bayern Munich – and recently scored 4 goals in a Champions League match against Arsenal’s bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur – after leaving the Emirates back in 2016.

Gnabry joined the Gunners in 2011 at the age of 16 after first signing with Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart, with Arsenal paying around £100,000 to bring him to the Emirates. It didn’t take long for the forward to make an impact, as he moved from the under-18 side to the reserve side in his first season at the club.

2012-13 saw him make his first team debut, becoming Arsenal’s second-youngest debutant in the Premier League era after fellow academy graduate Jack Wilshere. 2013-14 saw him appear 14 times in all competitions – scoring 1 goal – but an injury-hit 2014-15 set him back, as did a disastrous loan to West Bromwich Albion the following season, and that summer he departed for Germany.

Almost four years on, it’s safe to say that Arsenal probably regret letting him leave.

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