Where are they now? The last 10 Arsenal players sold by Wenger

AC Milan's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring during their Serie A victory over Spezia at San Siro, Milan, November 2022. Credit: Alamy
AC Milan's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring during their Serie A victory over Spezia at San Siro, Milan, November 2022. Credit: Alamy

While Arsene Wenger often knew when to let players leave Arsenal, the manager did make some mistakes towards the end of his reign. 

Wenger made a few questionable signings before leaving in 2018 and also sold players that he probably should have kept at the club.

We’ve looked at the last 10 players sold by the legendary French manager to see how they’ve fared after leaving north London.

Olivier Giroud

Giroud was deemed surplus to requirements by Wenger following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s arrival at the Emirates in January 2018.

The striker was sold to Chelsea in a £12million deal and came back to haunt his former club 18 months later, scoring the opening goal in the 2019 Europa League final.

He remained a fringe player at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2021, having scored a respectable 39 goals in 119 appearances (most of which came off the bench).

The 36-year-old is now turning out for AC Milan, looking positively sprightly in comparison to 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and scored 11 Serie A goals as they won the Scudetto last term – the first time he’s won a league title since Montpellier’s surprise Ligue 1 triumph a decade ago.

And he’s expected to be named in France’s World Cup squad. You just cannot keep a good man down.

Alexis Sanchez

Sanchez refused to sign a new contract at Arsenal before joining Manchester United in a now-infamous swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Despite arriving with high expectations, he failed to deliver at Old Trafford, scoring five goals in 45 appearances in all competitions.

United were so desperate to get his wages off the books that they allowed the Chile international to join Inter Milan on a free transfer in 2020.

It looks increasingly unlikely he’ll ever be back to his best, but Sanchez was a useful squad player for Antonio Conte as Inter won the Scudetto in 2020-21. He’s now turning out for Marseille.

Theo Walcott

After spending 12 years at the Emirates, Walcott decided to move to Everton in January 2018 in search of regular first-team football.

The 33-year-old is now back where it all began, turning out for Southampton, though rarely in the starting XI. He didn’t manage a goal or an assist for Saints last term.

Francis Coquelin

Coquelin struggled to establish himself as a key member of the first team at the Emirates but quickly became a mainstay in the starting XI at Valencia.

He made 89 appearances across all competitions for the La Liga side, helping them beat Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final in 2019.

The midfielder then completed a permanent move to local rivals Villarreal in 2020, starring in their unlikely run to the Champions League semi-finals last season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Arsenal career had stalled by 2017 and the midfielder opted for a fresh challenge, joining Liverpool in a £35million deal.

“I want to thank the Arsenal fans who’ve always supported me,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told The Times in 2017. “But I can’t apologise for my decision to leave. I want to get more out of myself.

“I felt the main thing was taking myself out of my comfort zone. That’s why Liverpool shouted out for me.”

The England international recovered from a serious ligament injury to help Liverpool win their first league title in 30 years in 2019-20, but only played a peripheral role.

He hasn’t 90 minutes in a Premier League match since 2018 and while Oxlade-Chamberlain produced some strong performances in 2021-22, he was once again a peripheral squad player for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds. A move away is probably best for all parties at this point.

Wojciech Szczesny

After making 181 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, a series of mistakes saw Szczesny lose Wenger’s trust.

The goalkeeper joined Juventus on a permanent deal in 2017, replacing Gianluigi Buffon as the club’s No.1 and winning three consecutive Serie A titles before their recent struggles.

In Wenger’s defence, we don’t think anybody saw that coming.

Gabriel Paulista

A Brazilian centre-back called Gabriel. Why does that sound familiar?

Paulista struggled for game time ahead of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker and completed a permanent move to Valencia in the summer of 2017.

The defender rediscovered his best form at the Mestalla and has since been linked with a move back to the Premier League.

Serge Gnabry

Arsenal are definitely regretting this one.

After a failed loan move to West Brom, Gnabry joined Werder Bremen permanently in 2016 before linking up with Bayern Munich one year later.

“We had prepared him for us to sign his new contract but then suddenly he wanted to go to Werder Bremen,” Wenger told beIN Sports in February 2020.

“But it was not Werder Bremen that bought him it was Munich that bought him. Because six months or less than one year later he moved from Bremen to Bayern but it was a done deal before.

“He was at the end of his contract and we thought that he would stay because he told he would stay.”

The 26-year-old has since developed into one of the best wingers in the world, helping the Bundesliga side complete a treble-winning season in 2019-20 and make it 10 Bundesliga titles in a row since. His contract in Bavaria is approaching its final year and he’s been linked with a move back to the Emirates.

Kieran Gibbs

Gibbs came through the ranks at Arsenal but joined West Brom in 2017 after falling behind Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac in the pecking order.

The left-back helped the Baggies secure promotion back to the Premier League in 2019-20 but struggled with injuries during their relegation last term. After his contract expired at the Hawthorns, he joined Phil Neville’s Inter Miami.

Wellington Silva

After being repeatedly shipped off on loan, Silva returned to his native Brazil with Fluminense in 2016 having never made a competitive appearance for Arsenal.

The Gunners looked set to activate his buy-back clause before selling him to Bordeaux for a small profit in 2017 but the deal collapsed when he failed his medical with the Ligue 1 side.

He ultimately remained with Fluminense and made his 100th appearance for the club in August 2020, having also spent a season on loan with Internacional, before moving permanently to Gamba Osaka in 2021.

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