Football

Arsenal's failed starlets: Where are they now?

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Arsenal's academy has produced many players over the years, who while having failed to make the grade at the Emirates, have gone on to enjoy careers in the Premier League.

Players like Seb Larsson, Fabrice Muamba, Steve Sidwell and Jermaine Pennant spring to mind, with Pennant having even scored a hat-trick on his league debut for Arsenal before later ending up at Liverpool.

Here we take a look at five of the more recent released players to leave north London:

1. Henri Lansbury - Nottingham Forest

After scoring in the League Cup against Tottenham Hotspur, the Enfield-born midfielder was highly rated by Wenger and became a hit with the fans. Renowned for his exceptional work-rate and technical ability, coupled with his knack of being able to 'Dougie', he has scored five goals in 16 games for the England Under-21s.

Despite signing a fresh contract at Arsenal in September 2011 while on loan at West Ham, he faced strong competition for a first-team place and failed to impress. However, his quality has shone through in a fantastic 2012/13 since moving to Nottingham Forest for £1 million.

2. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas - Ipswich Town

Seemingly able to play in every position on the pitch (bar left-back), Emmanuel-Thomas seemed destined for the top. His physical presence, coupled with endless talent was off-set by laziness and competition for places. His desire for first-team action soon saw a move to Ipswich Town. Here, he struggled for form, despite a decent spell during 2012, and will be released at the end of his contract this summer having scored nine goals in 75 appearances for the Portman Road side.

3. Matthew Connolly - Cardiff City

A versatile defender who could play competently at both centre-back and right-back, Connolly made just one first-team appearance against West Bromwich Albion in the third-round of the League Cup. He transferred to Queens Park Rangers in 2008, making 124 for the Hoops before moving to Cardiff City in 2012. He will get another chance to play in the Premier League this season, having made seven Premier League appearances for QPR before being shipped out on loan to Reading.

4. Jay Simpson - Hull City

On 19 February 2007, Jay Simpson became the first player ever to score a hat-trick at the Emirates Stadium, for the Under-18s side in an FA Youth Cup 3-2 win vs. Cardiff City. 

He grabbed more headlines on his first senior start for the club (also in the League Cup), when he bagged two goals against Wigan Athletic. After loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers, he eventually moved to Hull City where he scored 13 goals in 85 appearances for the Tigers, but will be released this summer after their promotion to the Premier League.

5. Kyle Bartley - Swansea City

Having made just two league appearances since moving to Swansea last summer, Bartley may be on the move again. He made his professional debut for the Gunners on 9th December 2009 in the UEFA Champions League against Olympiacos, reportedly having the option to stay with Arsenal last summer, but ultimately choosing to move to the Liberty Stadium in what has so far been an unproductive spell. His impressive time at Rangers earned him many plaudits, but he looks likely to either go out on loan next season, or leave the Swans permanently.


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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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