Arsenal fielded the second youngest XI in CL history in 2009 - where are they now?

For the third consecutive season, Arsenal will be playing Europa League football.

Unai Emery’s side were 90 minutes away from returning to the Champions League but a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in last season’s Europa League final put paid to that.

Before dropping into the Europa League in the 2017/18 seasons, the Gunners had featured in 19 consecutive Champions League campaigns.

But they didn’t manage to win the competition during that time.

They did, of course, reach the final in 2006 before a loss to Barcelona in Paris.

While they came second that year, they’re also second when it comes to naming the youngest ever side in the competition’s history.

That particular record is held by Zalgiris Vilnius but Arsenal fielded an XI with an average age of 21.6 during the 2009/10 season.

It came in a match against Olympiacos with Arsene Wenger’s side having already secured top-spot in their group- and they only lost 1-0!

But where are those players now 10 years on?

Let’s take a look – and how old each player was during that night in Greece.

Lukasz Fabianski | 24-years-old

Fabianski has become a solid Premier League goalkeeper after leaving Arsenal with Swansea and now West Ham. Has incredibly only missed three league matches in the previous five seasons. But that will now change after being ruled out for two months.

Mikael Silvestre | 32-years-old

By far Arsenal’s oldest player that night – and he probably cost his side the record. He played for Werder Bremen, Portland Timbers and Chennaiyin after leaving the club. Now retired.

Kyle Bartley | 18-years-old

Bartley’s only performance for Arsenal. Played a handful of Premier League matches for Swansea and now finds himself in the Championship with West Brom.

Thomas Cruise | 18-year-old

Tom Cruise? No, not that one…

Like Bartley, this was Cruise’s only appearances for the club. A loan and then permanent spell at Torquay followed before he stopped playing football in 2015, aged just 24.

Kerrea Gilbert | 22-years-old

Only played a handful of times for Arsenal and left following the 2009/10 season. Was last seen playing for St Albans City but left following the 2013/14 season. Hasn’t played football since.

Alex Song | 22-years-old

Went on to play more than 200 times for Arsenal before sensationally signing for Barcelona. Two seasons at the Camp Nou and a loan spell at West Ham followed before he moved to Russia and Rubin Kazan.

Currently playing for Sion in Switzerland.

Jack Wilshere | 17-years-old

The youngest starter that night but Wilshere went on to play 197 times for Arsenal. Injuries have since stunted his career but he’s still playing Premier League football at West Ham.

Aaron Ramsey | 18-years-old

369 appearances for the club before his summer move to Juventus. Will now be looking to win the competition this season with the Old Lady.

Fran Merida | 19-years-old

The Spaniard was very highly-rated but only played 16 times for Arsenal in his career.

Spells at Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid, Braga, Hercules, Atletico Paranaense and Huesca have followed.

Now plays for Osasuna.

Theo Walcott | 20-years-old

397 matches and 108 goals at Arsenal for Walcott. Now at Everton.

Carlos Vela | 20-years-old

Made 62 appearances for Arsenal but was sold to Real Sociedad for just €3 million in 2012. Seven successful seasons in Spain saw him play more than 200 times in La Liga.

He’s now smashing MLS records with Los Angeles FC and has forged a goalscoring rivalry with LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Vela has scored 31 goals in 30 MLS matches this season.

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