Recognized as one of the giants of the Premier League, Arsenal hosted some of the greatest players to ever see in England’s top flight.
Names like Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie, and Mesut Ozil are just a few of the greats to have played for Arsenal. But many other big names have played for the Gunners and have been forgotten ever since.
While these players have enjoyed success elsewhere in their careers, their stint at Arsenal was either unsuccessful or forgotten for other reasons.
Here are five players you didn’t know you played for Arsenal.
# 1 Jermaine Pennant (12 appearances for Arsenal)
A true football companion who has played for no less than 15 clubs in his career, it’s easy to forget that Jermaine Pennant was once an Arsenal player.
In fact, the winger was signed by the Notts County Gunners at the age of 15, for a fee of £ 2million.
These fees were a record for an intern at the time and meant Pennant was supposed to keep doing great things in North London.
Unfortunately, it never really worked for him. Pennant made his Arsenal debut at the age of 16, becoming their youngest player at that time.
But after pulling off a hat-trick on his league debut, it became clear that the winger’s mentality didn’t quite match his talents.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger never fully trusted him and he ended up making just 12 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.
Pennant moved to Birmingham City, initially on loan during the 2004-05 season. And after a drinking and driving conviction, he made the move permanent.
Later in his career, Pennant ended up in Liverpool – and even started for the Reds in the 2007 Champions League final.
Overall, however, his career was one of wasted potential, and he’s been largely forgotten by Arsenal fans now.
# 2 Mathieu Debuchy (13 appearances for Arsenal)
A French international who won the Ligue 1 title with Lille in 2010-11, Mathieu Debuchy spent four seasons with Arsenal.
However, it would be very easy to forget the full-back tenure in the Emirates, largely because he’s only played a handful of games for them – 13 in the league to be exact.
Debuchy’s Premier League career actually started with Newcastle United. He moved there in January 2013 after 10 seasons with Lille and performed impressively for the Magpies for a season and a half.
His performances at St. James’ Park were enough to persuade Arsenal to part with £ 12million for him, and the Frenchman even received the No.2 shirt on his arrival.
However, Debuchy only made 10 Premier League appearances for the Gunners in his debut season. His failure to establish himself in their first team was largely due to a mix of injuries and the emergence of Hector Bellerin.
Debuchy continued to struggle for playing time in the 2015-16 season, then moved to Bordeaux on loan for the second half of the campaign.
This move also didn’t work and he only made nine appearances before returning to the Emirates.
However, despite another full season at Arsenal, he only played eight more times for the Gunners before finally moving to Saint-Etienne in January 2018.
Given his reputation as a top-tier French international, to say Debuchy’s time at Arsenal has been disappointing would be an understatement.