Where are they now? Arsene Wenger’s last 10 signings at Arsenal

Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing for Arsenal. Credit: Alamy
Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing for Arsenal. Credit: Alamy

From Patrick Vieira to Thierry Henry, Arsene Wenger made some sensational signings at the start of his time at Arsenal. 

But fans often queried Wenger’s transfer policy towards the end of his reign as Arsenal struggled to compete with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

We’ve taken a look at his last 10 Arsenal signings to see how they’ve fared since.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Wenger left the ultimate gift for his successor by securing the services of Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.

He helped the Gunners win the first trophy of the post-Wenger era, scoring both goals in the 2020 FA Cup semi-final and final as they overcame Manchester City and Chelsea. 

But the striker’s form dovetailed after signing a new contract that summer and things got so bad that he was allowed to leave on a free to Barcelona in January 2022.

Aubameyang scored 13 goals in 24 appearances for the La Liga giants, but was promptly replaced by Robert Lewandowski, and is now back in the Premier League, warming the bench for Chelsea.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan moved to Arsenal as part of the now-infamous swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United in January 2018.

Despite registering a hat-trick of assists on his debut, he failed to fill the void left by Sanchez’s departure and later struggled under Unai Emery. 

“Emery paid more attention to tactics, so my role changed,” Mkhitaryan told FourFourTwo in November 2019. “I was starting as a winger but had to build play with the defensive midfielder. It’s why I couldn’t contribute as many goals or assists.

“I like to play more freely and move wherever there’s space, but you have to do the job that the manager asks.”

The Armenia international joined Serie A side Roma on loan in 2019 before making the move permanent at the end of the season. The arrival of Jose Mourinho promised an awkward reunion, but things worked out pretty well for the pair, who lifted the first-ever UEFA Conference League trophy last term.

Mkhitaryan joined Inter in the summer, and has scored three goals in 31 appearances for the Nerazzurri at the time of writing.

Konstantinos Mavropanos

Mavropanos arrived from Greek outfit PAS Giannina for around £1.8million in January 2018 but has struggled to break into the team, making just eight appearances for Arsenal.

The defender is currently turning out for Bundesliga side Stuttgart, who exercised their €3million option to buy the Greece international after he impressed on loan from the Gunners. 

Alexandre Lacazette

Lacazette joined Arsenal in a £46million deal but struggled to replicate the form that made him one of the most clinical strikers in Europe during his time at Lyon.

The striker still boasts a respectable record of 71 goals and 36 assists in 206 appearances, and he won Arsenal’s Player of the Season award in 2018-19, but by the end of his time at the Emirates his lack of mobility proved a real issue.

He left the Gunners at the end of last season when his deal expired, and is now back where it all began at Lyon. He’s scored 14 goals in 23 Ligue 1 appearances so far this season.

Sead Kolasinac

Kolasinac joined Arsenal on a free transfer in 2017 and made a great first impression, scoring an equaliser against Chelsea in the Community Shield.

But the left-back was eventually replaced by Kieran Tierney and was then pushed further down the pecking order following Nuno Tavares’s arrival.

His most notable moment in England came off the pitch when he fought off knife-wielding carjackers who were trying to steal Mesut Ozil’s car.

The 29-year-old joined Marseille last January, and in November drew Arsenal fans’ ire by missing a glorious chance to knock Spurs out of the Champions League.

Cohen Bramall

Bramall made the leap from non-league to Premier League when he swapped Hednesford Town for Arsenal in January 2017.

The left-back played for their Under-23s but never made a competitive first-team appearance for the Gunners and was released in 2019.

He then spent one-and-a-half years at League Two side Colchester United before moving up a division with Lincoln City in February 2021. That ascent has continued, and Bramall is currently turning out in the Championship with Rotherham United.

Shkodran Mustafi

Mustafi won two FA Cups and made over 150 appearances for Arsenal but his time at the Emirates is best remembered for his calamitous moments. 

The centre-back was allowed to join Schalke on a free transfer in February 2021, but he made just 13 appearances for the club and was released following their relegation.

He then decided to return to La Liga with Levante on a two-year deal, but is now playing his football in the Spanish second tier after suffering a second relegation in as many years.

Lucas Perez

After a 17-goal season in La Liga, Perez left Deportivo La Coruna and completed a £17.1million move to Arsenal in the summer of 2016.

Despite a 39-minute hat-trick in a Champions League victory at Basel, he hardly got a chance under Wenger and was loaned back to Deportivo in 2017.

Stints at West Ham, Alaves, Elche and Cadiz followed before Perez returned to Deportivo in a very altruistic move.

Kelechi Nwakali

Nwakali signed for Arsenal in August 2016, having played a starring role in Nigeria’s triumph at the Under-17 World Cup the year before.

The midfielder spent time on loan at VVV-Venlo, MVV Maastricht and Porto but failed to make a major impact and left the Gunners in 2019. 

“It’s been a good journey with Arsenal since 2016 despite never played (sic) any official game for them,” Nwakali wrote on Instagram.

“I have gained a lot from my time here and everybody involved with the club have been great to me. I just want to say a big thank you and goodbye, because it is time to move on, time for another chapter and another challenge.”

He then moved to Spanish outfit Huesca and is now at Ponferradina, coming up against Mustafi’s Levante in the Spanish Segunda Division.

READ: A brilliant Xl of players that Arsene Wenger nearly signed for Arsenal

Rob Holding

Despite suffering relegation to League One with Bolton, Holding still did enough to earn a £2million move to Arsenal in 2016.

“Unfortunately no one speaks about the performance of Rob Holding,” Wenger famously said in August 2016. “You should be happy, he is English and 20 years old.

“I am sorry he didn’t cost £55million, so he can’t be good. We don’t speak about the performances anymore and I think that is not right.”

Holding starred in the 2017 FA Cup final win over Chelsea but suffered a rotten few years with injuries. The only one on this list that still remains at The Emirates, he’s now a more-than-useful squad player, but very much behind Gabriel, William Saliba and Ben White in Mikel Arteta’s pecking order.

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