Analysis: Arsenal’s top prospects of the last 15 seasons

Us Arsenal fans have always prided ourselves on the culture of giving young players a stage to flourish. A scheme at the foundation of Wenger’s philosophy for the club and football in general, and something Emery has said to continue.

It colours the history of the club with great and unlikely stories of courage, trust and integrity.

Fabregas, van Persie, Ramsey and Bellerin are some of Arsenal’s most important players in the last decade or so, and their stories of overcoming the odds as young players at a top club is worth remembering.

This article will show an overview of the most influential prospects that has graced the club in the last 15 seasons, and piece together some afterthoughts at the end.

The criteria are they must have played at least 30 games for the first team and joined the club no later than at age 20.

Name  –  Age joined  – Price  –  Year left and club  –  Selling fee

03/04

cesc

Cesc Fabregas           –         15           –         £2.8m   –    2011 Barcelona    –   £29.7m
Gael Clichy                –         17           –         £328k    –    2011 Man City     –  £6.8m
Phillipe Senderos     –         18          –          £3.1m   –   2010 Fulham         –  Free transfer
Johan Djourou          –         16          –          Unk.    –    2014 Hamburg      –  £2.4m
Alex Iwobi                 –  7 (Arsenal debut at 18)    –    Own product         –  Still at club
Ainsley M-Niles        –         6 (debut at 17)            –    Own product         –  Still at club

04/05

Robin van Persie      –         20           –         £3.9m    –   2012 Man United   –  £26.8m
Mathieu Flamini      –         19           –         £420k    –   2008 AC Milan         –  Free transfer
(rejoined Arsenal in 2013 on a free and released without contract in 2016)
Nicklas Bendtner     –         16           –         £220k    –   2014 Wolfsburg       – Free transfer

05/06

walcott

Theo Walcott             –         15 (debut at 17)  – £9.2m   –   2018 Everton       –  £19.7m
Alex Song                   –         17              –             £3.5m   –   2012 Barcelona    –  £16.6m
Wojchiech Szczesny – 16 (debut at 19)  – £50k   –  2017 Juventus                 –  £10.7m
Carlos Vela                 –         16              –             £2.6m  –  2012 Real Sociedad –  £12.2m
Abou Diaby                –         19              –             £2.6m   –   2015 Marseille      –  Free transfer
Armand Traore         –         16              –             £0         –    2011 QPR               –   £1.2m

06/07

Denilson         –         18        –        £4.4m        –        2013 Sao Paulo        –       Free transfer

07/08

Kieran Gibbs      –    13 (debut at 17)     –     £0     –     2017 West Brom     –    £6.6m

08/09

ramwil

Aaron Ramsey       –       18 (debut same year)   –   £5.6m   –   2019 Juventus   –   Free transfer
Jack Wilshere         –       8 (debut at 16) – £0  –      2018 West Ham    –     Free transfer
Francis Coquelin    –      16       –      £1m         –      2018 Valencia        –     £12.2m

09/10 & 10/11

*Crickets*

11/12

Carl Jenkinson          –       19         –             £1m            –            Still at club
Alex Ox-Chamberlain  –  17 (debut same year)   –   £12.1m    –    2017 Liverpool   –   £33.2m
Hector Bellerin         –      16 (Debut at 18)    –     £500k       –       Still at club

12/13 & 13/14

None

14/15

Calum Chambers     –    19    –     £17.5m    –     Still at club (on loan at Fulham)

15/16

None

16/17

Rob Holding            –       20      –     £2.6m     –      Still at club

17/18

None

“Rapid decline, big profits, still a developing force, future looks bright”

After the nostalgia has faded, it’s interesting to see how the recruitment of young players and their impact on the first team has declined rather rapidly since the 11/12 season. That being said, before 2014, Arsenal had to pay the towering stadium loans off and money was tight. A strategy to develop cheap, young players was a significant focus at the time.

Arsenal’s selling profit from the prospects who left the club in this period was £125.5m.

From the 25 players on this list, eight became part of the club’s best players at their time there (Fabregas, Clichy, van Persie, Song, Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Bellerin). An impressive ratio.

Of which, Fabregas, Clichy, van Persie, Song and Walcott were sold for substantial profits. While Ramsey and Wilshere left for free.

Another point is that prospects never retire at the club, and history shows they usually leave in their late 20s for numerous reasons: win bigger trophies, make more money elsewhere, didn’t develop adequately.

The CIES Football Observatory reports that Arsenal are still a force in developing talent for the big stage. The Gunners are 15th (second in the Premier League) in training players for at least three season between the age of 15 and 21, who have played in the top five leagues in Europe in the last five years:

Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 15.18.55

Considering the current financial predicament Arsenal are in, developing young talent for the first team will be important for the future, as it was when the club built their new stadium 13 years ago.

Fortunately, there isn’t a lack of talented and hungry prospects in the U23 side, that won their league last season. Not to mention the current players in the first team taking that big step now (Holding, Guendouzi, Mavropanos and Maitland-Niles).

The U23 hopefuls:

Methodology:

Transfer fees from Transfermarkt.

Currency converted from Euros to GBP in today’s rate via the XE Currency Converter.


Twitter: AFCAndersen

Also: “Guendouzi: A shining light in a pretty dark place

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s