Robin van Persie carried his Arsenal form over to his new employers last season and helped Manchester United recapture the Premier League crown.
However, there are numerous players who played fantastically for Arsenal and scarpered off for apparent bigger and better things. However, without the guidance of Arsene Wenger, have failed to emulate their potential ability and have suffered somewhat of a free-fall from world football.
Let’s look at the top five most notable of the many players he has managed in recent times.
5. Alex Song
Alex Song moved to Barcelona last season and has failed to replicate his stellar performances of which he consistently executed for Wenger. He did play 36 times for Barcelona, but often found himself coming off the substitutes' bench. Song is one of many ex-Arsenal players who have not coincidently suffered the same lapse in form after leaving the Emirates Stadium.
4. Alexander Hleb
Alexander Hleb, similarly to Alex Song, couldn’t fight temptation to join the Catalan giants. Hleb managed almost exact appearances as Song for Barcelona in his debut and only season at the Nou Camp, before brief stints around Europe. He left Arsenal in 2008 and has never reproduced his scintillating form. Hleb has admitted in interviews that his biggest regret in life was leaving Arsenal for Barcelona.
3. Mathieu Flamini
Mathieu Flamini, who was Hleb’s midfield partner, initially broke into and was eventually on the cusp of a regular starting place for the France national team in 2007 just before he left Arsenal for AC Milan.
Since he stopped playing for Arsenal, he never received another international call-up and has managed a less-than-impressive 22 appearances in five seasons for the Rossoneri. He is yet another player who has gone on to prove Arsene Wenger’s impressive man-management and coaching ability.
In the Premier League we saw both Emmanuel Adebayor and Samir Nasri produce incredible and game-winning performances for the Gunners.
2. Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel Adebayor was named African Player of the Year, BBC African Footballer of the Year, featured in the PFA Team of the Year and won the Goal of the Season competition during his 2007/08 final season with Arsenal.
He left in a big-money transfer to Manchester City and found loan stints at Real Madrid and, controversially, Tottenham. He then joined arch-rivals Spurs on a permanent basis but is likely to be sold this summer.
1. Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri particularly stood out in 2010/11 where he was named French Player of the Year and found himself in the PFA Team of the Season.
Touted as the next Zinedine Zidane, due to his ability and cultural background, he has never really re-found his Zidane-esque performances he readily produced at Arsenal which led to belief he could eventually fill Zizou’s legendary position.
The 26-year-old now has the tag of ‘benchwarmer’ and doesn’t look to fulfil his undoubted ability.
It is worth to note that all of these players have successfully found silverware, be it in bit-part roles. However, they have never played to the same incredible level which they had under Wenger.
They have found success but have most likely lost the enjoyment of the game. Was the taste of success worth stabbing the faithful Arsenal fans in the back?
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