Over the past decade we have watched Arsenal slowly lose their best players to foreign clubs and even some of their rivals.
As a result of this, Arsenal have struggled to contend, winning absolutely nothing in the past eight years.
In this article, GMS contributor Ben Davy will take a look at some of the quality players they have let slip. From these players, I’m going to aim to put together the best starting Xl possible.
Goalkeeper | Manuel Almunia
This position is a tricky one to start on, as I don’t think Arsenal have had a solid keeper since David Seaman. Almunia made a lot of mistakes for Arsenal and letting him go was not exactly a great loss, but I had to pick someone.
Left back | Ashley Cole
This decision was a close one between Cole and Clichy and although Cole is 32-years-old, I think his experience and reliability would be crucial. This was a big loss for Arsenal in 2006 and Chelsea definitely got the better end of the deal.
Centre back | Kolo Toure
Last season Kolo didn’t see a lot of first team football at Manchester City and I think this is a shame. In the few games he did start he put in some good performances including one remarkable performance against Chelsea. I think this season, Liverpool will get the best out of him.
Right back | Lassana Diarra
Most people consider ‘Lass’ a central defensive midfielder and this is probably his preferred position. However, he often plays right back for France, he’s also played there for Chelsea. The 28-year-old is very versatile and can play comfortably in a range of positions.
Defensive midfielder | Alex Song
Another big loss for Arsenal was Song. Now a regular starter for Barcelona, Alex Song shields the defense picking out passes from deep.
Defensive midfielder | Mathieu Flamini
Leaving on a free in 2008, Flamini now plays his football at AC Milan. He has been a key midfielder for them over the past five years picking up a Serie A trophy along the way. It is questionable whether or not he would be included in Arsenals current first Xl but he’s still a good squad player none-the-less.
Centre midfield | Cesc Fabregas
When Cesc left in 2011, Arsenal lost their best player and their captain. The Spanish tactician has provided Barcelona with another attacking option and his talent is undeniable. Last season Cesc spent a lot of time on the bench, could a return to Arsenal be on the cards?
Centre midfield | Samir Nasri
Nasri is another player who spent a lot of time on the bench last season. It almost seems like another wasted talent as Wenger definitely got the best out of him.
Centre midfield | Sebastian Larsson
Larsson is another player who probably wouldn’t break into Arsenal's starting Xl, however, he was sold for £1m in 2007, which seems like a bargain now.
Striker | Robin van Persie
Another captain Arsenal have sold, and this time it was to their bitter rivals. Van Persie scored 26 league goals last season, helping Manchester United to a Premier League trophy. The previous season Van Persie had score 30 league goals for Arsenal. Robin was arguably Arsenal’s biggest loss in the past decade.
Striker | Emmanuel Adebayor
Arsenal received £25m for Adebayor in 2009. This seems like a good bit of business, as he hasn’t lived up to his expectation since leaving for Manchester City.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this team could challenge for the league due to weakness towards the back. However, if a few current players were added to this squad, I think Arsenal could definitely get their hands on a much-desired trophy.
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