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Best Arsenal Players of All Time

Sat 28 November 2020 | 14:30

Once again we take a look at this great club to see who are the best Arsenal players of all time?!

Arsenal may be far from their glorious days of the early 2000s but if one thing is certain at this club is that they always bounce back and are never far from being the best team in England. As such we have previously highlighted some of the best players at the club at various positions and now we have decided to see who amongst those top players make it onto our list of

best Arsenal players of all time

.

Obviously the impact that these players had on the club were immense and we have tried to rank them accordingly, otherwise all of them are great winners who have won many league titles and silverware for the club in various eras of the club. So let’s see who are the Arsenal best players ever:

Best Arsenal Players Ever

These best Arsenal players ever are from different eras of the club and also different positions, and all were part of great teams that had other great players, many of whom missed out narrowly on being on our list. So let’s see why these 10 made it:

10. David Seaman

it’s only fitting that we start our list with one of

Arsenal

Legends who is also one of the longest serving Arsenal players of all time with 564 appearances and that player is David Seaman. He also represented England for years and appeared in 3 major tournaments for his country. Seaman, who joined the Gunners in 1990, would remain with Arsenal until 2003, a year before his retirement from football at Manchester City.

David Seaman, who spent more than half of his career before the Premier League even began in teams like QPR and Birmingham City, is 4th among the goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Premier League history which we highlighted before. His brave style of goal keeping as well as his quick reflexes and ability to organize the defense made him one of the best goalkeepers in the 90s and allowed Arsenal to win as many titles as they did.

He won 3 league titles with Arsenal, 2 of which were Premier League titles, in addition to winning 4 FA Cups, 1 League Cup and 1 Cup Winners’ Cup. In the Premier League, Seaman kept a clean sheet in 41% of the games he appeared in and that just shows why as a goalkeeper he is considered to be one of the best Arsenal players of all time. He is still a popular figure at the Emirates Stadium and his moustache and pony tail look will forever be remembered by football fans all over the world!

9. David O’Leary

Next on our list of

all-time Arsenal best players

is the club’s record hodler for the most number of appearances with 722, the great wall in defense that is David O’Leary. Having first played for the first team in 1975, O’Leary became a constant in Arsenal’s first team under several managers until he left the club in 1993, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in Arsenal’s history.

The first years of O’Leary at Arsenal was somewhat successful as he would go on to feature in 3 consecutive FA Cup finals from 1978 till 1980 with teammates like Liam Brady and managed to win the competition only once in those 3 years. the Arsenal went through a not so successful period until the the appointment of George Graham as Arsenal’s manager in 1986, where despite O’leary appearing less and less often he won his first league title in 1988-89 season.

Calm and composed whilst defending, O’Leary was a rock in Arsenal’s backline for many years and he passed down those traits and his great leadership skills to the likes of Tony Adams. Having played 722 games in 19 seasons with Arsenal, in which he scored 13 goals for the Gunners. With 2 league titles, 2 FA Cups and 2 League Cups, he is certainly one of the best Arsenal players of all time and deservedly gets a spot on our list.

8. Liam Brady

A product of Arsenal youth academy and undoubtedly one of the most fan favorite players in Arsenal’s history is the midfield maestro Liam Brady, who started playing for the club since 1973. Brady was a creative midfielder who was known for his ball carrying ability as well as his impeccable vision and excellent passing skills which made him one of

Arsenal top players of all time

as he was instrumental in club’s resurgence to the top of English football in the 70s.

Having established himself as a regular starter soon after his debut for the club at the age of 18, Brady went on to form a great partnership with Allan Ball in Arsenal’s midfield, which would last for years. the two helped Arsenal reach 4 Finals, most of which came at the end of Brady’s career at Arsenal in the late 70s. Brady and Arsenal won the 1979 FA Cup final against Manchester, Brady’s only trophy at the club, and consequently he was named Player of the Season that year.

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After beating Juventus in the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final with Arsenal in the 1979-80 season and reaching the final, which they lost to Valencia on penalties, Brady impressed the Juventus’ hierarchy enough to bring him to Juventus where he ended up winning 2 Serie A titles. but it was because of his time at Arsenal that Liam Brady will be remembered fondly by many and is considered to be one of the best Arsenal players of all time.

7. Robert Pires

The 1998 World Cup and 2000 Euro Winner, Robert Pires, who joined Arsenal when he was in 27 and in his prime and he went on to feature for the Gunners for 6 seasons. One of the best left wingers in Premier League history joined Arsenal after he won the Euro 2000 with France, in order to replace Marc Overmars who had joined Barcelona. Soon Pires was able to help Arsenal clinch the Double in his second season at the club.

Pires, who constantly scored more than 15 goals a season, had his best season with the Gunners in 2003-04 season, where his partnership with Thierry Henry was just unstoppable which led to many goals and assists for both players, serving as a one-two punch. Pires was masterful with the ball at his feet and he was capable of easily moving past defenders. That season Arsenal went unbeaten through the whole campaign and became known as the Invincibles.

Pires scored 87 goals for Arsenal and assisted more than 50. Having won 2 Premier Leagues and 3 Fa Cup, Robert Pires became one of

the Arsenal greatest players ever

. He left Arsenal after their loss in the Champions League final against Barcelona in 2006, but despite the bitter end, he is adored by both the club and supporters and holds a coaching position in the club at the moment.

6. Ian Wright

At No. 6 we have one of the most beloved Arsenal players of all-time, Ian Wright, who arrived from Crystal Palace in 1991, where he was already an established goal scorer. He hit the ground running at Arsenal scoring a hat-trick in his first league game against Southampton. And it only got better from there as he soon proved himself to be one of the Arsenal top players of all time over the course of the following 7 years

Small of stature and extremely quick and skillful, unlike many classic center forwards of his era, Ian Wright used his abilities to his advantage and would soon win his first Golden Boot at the club in his first season and continue to be Arsenal’s top scorer for 6 season in a row. Although some of the years he spent at Arsenal were tumultuous, the arrival of Arsene Wenger helped Wright find his feet again and his partnership with Bergkamp became one of the deadliest in the League.

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Wright managed to win 4 cup trophies (2 FA Cups, 1 League Cup and 1 Cup Winners’ Cup), including the cup double of 1992-93 season, and a Premier League title in his final days as an Arsenal player in 1998, at the end of a Double winning season. In 1997, Wright became Arsenal’s best goal scorer of all time by breaking Cliff Bastin’s record when he scored his 179th goal for the club against Bolton Wanderers and by the end of his career at Arsenal he had managed to score 185 goals in 288 matches for Arsenal. Such a clinical finisher and joy of a person certainly deserves to be one of the best Arsenal players of all time.

5. Cliff Bastin

The legendary Cliff Bastin, who was Arsenal’s top scorer of all time from 1939 until 1997, was one of the pioneers of Arsenal’s success in the 1930s, where the club established themselves as one of the England’s elite clubs. Quick and skillful on the ball, Bastin’s goal scoring abilities soon turned him into one of the all-time Arsenal best players. He joined Arsenal when he was only 17 year-old boy in 1929 and he remained there until the end of his playing days in 1947.

Bastin is still one of the most accomplished English teenagers in football because by the time he was only 19, he had already won a League title, an FA Cup trophy and an England call-up, making him the youngest player to achieve those three honors, a record which he still holds to this day. He is also one of the most decorated player on our list as he has won 5 league titles and 2 FA Cups.

Bastin scored 178 goals in 398 matches for Arsenal becoming their top goal scorer ever and holding the title until 1997 where it was broken by Ian Wright. A record that becomes even more impressive when you learn that he was a left winger and not a forward. he is still regarded by many to be

the best Arsenal players of all time

and certainly one of the best Arsenal forwards of all time but he is placed in 5th position in our list.

4. Patrick Vieira

One of the absolute best Premier League midfielder of all, Patrick Vieira joined the Gunners from AC Milan in 1997. Over time he became the perfect midfielder who had everything in his locker, be it defending, dribbling distributing the ball, creating chances or even scoring. But more importantly, Vieria was a born leader who guided Arsenal through one of the most successful eras in club’s history and became one of

the Arsenal best players ever

.

Over the course of Vieira’s 9 seasons playing for Arsenal, Vieira took part in some of the most powerful midfield partnerships in EPL history with the likes of Petit, Gilberto and Edu, which earned him a spot in the Premier League Team of the Season in 6 of those 9 seasons. Vieira’s most important achievement an successful season with the Arsenal came in the 2003-04 as took part in leading the famous Invincibles to a league title.

Vieira helped Arsenal win 3 Premier League titles and 4 FA Cup trophies and wrote his name in the club’s history by becoming one of the best Arsenal players of all time. his style of playing and controlling the midfield has become something that many young players pursue but there are none who can reach his level. In fact, his departure from the club in 2005 became the start of a decade long decline for the club because Arsenal were never able to find truly his replacement which just shows how important of a figure he was both on and off the pitch for Arsenal.

3. Dennis Bergkamp

One of the classiest and most skillful footballers to ever grace the pitch is in need of no introduction as most who watch football are familiar with Dennis Bergkamp. His penchant for creating beauty on the pitch has led to some calling him an artist instead of an athlete and his longevity in doing so has made him one of the best Arsenal players ever. Bergkamp came to Arsenal in 1995, becoming one of the first genuine superstars to choose the Premier League.

As the new manager, Arsene Wenger, took charge of the club in 1996, his style of Total Football allowed Bergkamp to flourish and as a result he was able to assist goals more times than he scored them. Over the years, Wenger partnered Bergkamp with many players but in the end Bergkamp was the mastermind in Arsenal’s attack. His partnership with Thierry Henry was something else though as two of Arsenal greatest players ever linked up together to score and assist goals.

Bergkamp’s genius has drawn many praises, with Henry claiming that Bergkamp was the best player he ever played with, apart from Lionel Messi. In his Career at Arsenal, Bergkamp assisted 94 goals in the Premier League alone and he scored 120 goals in all competitions for Arsenal over the course of 11 seasons. His elegant control of the ball, his right foot curl shots or most importantly his great vision for creating chances has made him one of the greatest footballers of all time and certainly one of

best Arsenal players of all time

.

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2. Tony Adams

Known as “Mr Arsenal”, Tony Adams is one of the longest serving and certainly one of Arsenal greatest players ever and he is the penultimate entry on our list. Adams, who was a One-Club player, was an Arsenal academy graduate who made his debut for the club in 1983 and went on to play for the club for 22 years before retiring. He gradually became a regular first team player but would not experience great success with the club until the appointment of George Graham in 1986.

Adams was given the captain’s armband in 1988, when he was only 21 years old, and he remained so for the following 14 years. his impenetrable partnership at heart of defense with Steve Bould resulted in Arsenal’s success, namely in the 1988-89 season where Arsenal won its first league title since 1971. They would go on to win it again two years later. That Arsenal team under the management of George Graham was famous for its defensive prowess and Adams was the mastermind of that as his leadership in defense helped shape some of the all-time best defenders at Arsenal.

But all was not sunshine and rainbow as Adams struggled with alcoholism off the pitch, even going as far as being incarcerated for 2 months in 1991 because of a drunk driving accident. But with the appointment of Arsene Wenger in 1996 and the new dietary regime and restrictions he brought, Adams was able to get back to his best again and somehow deal with his alcoholism. He has credited Wenger for helping him in this matter which resulted in a prolonged career. Tony Adams then went on to help Arsenal win 2 Doubles as well as a couple of cup trophies.

All of which brings his trophy total to four top flight division titles, three FA Cups, two Football League Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and two FA Community Shields. a statue of Adams was unveiled outside the Emirates stadium in 2011, celebrating one of

the best Arsenal players of all time

, one of only 3 players on this list to receive such an honor. His values of playing for the badge and not for the name on the back of the shirt has been upheld within the fandom and some of club’s players. In the end the tale of Tony Adams’ career is akin to that of Arsenal as well, with ups and downs but in the end always triumphant.

1. Thierry Henry

Our No.1 among

the best Arsenal players ever

and genuinely one of the best forwards of all time is none other than the King of Highbury himself, Thierry Henry. A product of AS Monaco academy, one who was discovered by Arsene Wenger himself, Henry was already a World Cup winner by the time he was 20.the 1998 World Cup. He joined Arsenal a year later after an unsuccessful time with Juventus in Serie A.

At Arsenal, Wenger chose to play him as a forward instead of his natural winger role, believing he had the qualities of a great forward. and soon Henry adapted to his new role and then the goals just kept coming. He would not experience great success with Arsenal though until the 01-02 season, where he helped Arsenal win the League and FA Cup Double by scoring 32 goals in all competitions.

Henry who by now had become one of the best players in the world played a huge part in Arsenal winning the league without losing a single match in the 2003-04 season, a record they extended to 49 games. he scored 39 goals in all competition and was named the Player of the Year for the 2nd time in a row. He became the first Arsenal player to win the European Golden Boot and also he was runner-up to the World Player of the Year award. He would help Arsenal immensely as they reached the Champions League final 2 years later, which they ended up losing, and ultimately left the club in 2007.

In his Career at Arsenal, Thierry Henry scored 228 goals in 377 games for Arsenal, winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot 4 times, being the only player to do so, and became Arsenal’s top scorer of all time. his speed, incredible dribbling ability, powerful right-footed strikes and great vision, helped him achieve almost everything that a footballer can. Like Bergkamp and Adams, Henry also has a statue outside Arsenal’s home stadium, but his actions on the pitch are what truly immortalize him and make him the best Arsenal player of all time.

 

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