Ever wondered where some of your favourite or even most disliked Arsenal players ended up?
Following on from my article on former Manchester United players, I now delve into the Arsenal archives to find out where some ‘legends’ ended up.
Whilst Arsenal have endured some success in Arsene Wenger’s time, he has also been known to sign a few poor players that weren’t exactly what he thought they were going to be. Wenger is know to sign many foreign players and some of the more obscure ones feature here. We start off with a Japanese sensation….
Junichi Inamoto – 2001-2002
Junichi Inamoto joined Arsenal from Gamba Osaka in 2001. He failed to make an appearance in the league, and only featured four times in the cup competitions. Inamoto was released by Arsenal before the 2002 World Cup, but it was here that he stood out. He scored two goals for Japan, and then joined Fulham. He scored nine goals in 58 appearances for Fulham over two seasons. He scored a hat-trick for them in their Intertoto Cup Final win over Bologna. He also scored for the Cottagers during a 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Inamoto then joined West Brom and was loaned out to Cardiff City. After impressing for the Welsh side he featured heavily for the Baggies in the 2005-2006 campaign. He then had short spells at Galatasaray and Frankfurt before returning back to Japan where he currently plays with Kawasaki Frontale.
Gilles Grimandi – 1997-2002
Grimandi left AS Monaco to join former manager Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in 1997. The versatile player played 113 league games for the club in a variety of positions. Known mainly as a defensive midfielder, he also played at centre-back, right-back, and right-midfield. The Frenchman was a useful player for the Gunners and won his second double with the club in his final season. He left to join Colorado Rapids, becoming the first Frenchman to play in the MLS. However he didn’t settle there and quickly returned to France to be with is family. Gilles remains in France as Arsenal’s scout for that country.
Pascal Cygan – 2002-2006
Another Frenchman who joined the club from Lille in 2002. He started off his Arsenal career with a number of calamitous errors, and looked very shaky. He did recover from this to have a few runs in the side but was usually a back-up to more established players. Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure, and Phillipe Senderos were ahead of him in the pecking order, and this led to his departure in 2006 after Arsenal reached the Champions League Final. He joined Villarreal to link up with former Gunner Robert Pires. In his first two years with the club he featured heavily, but only as a back up in the 2008-2009 season. Then he moved onto Segunda Liga side Cartagena. He played 57 times for them in two seasons before retiring.
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie – 2003-2006
Billed as a pacey forward with a lot of potential, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie didn’t get much of a chance at Arsenal. He scored plenty of goals for the youth sides but was only really played in the League Cup for Arsenal. He moved on to Spartak Moscow in January 2006. After a spell at Celta Vigo on loan he then played for Birmingham City, Cardiff City and Portsmouth. Out of those three English clubs he only really impressed for Birmingham. He moved permanently to Qatari side Al-Sadd in March 2010 before going on loan to Malaga for the 2010-2011 season. His latest move was to Panathinaikos in the summer of 2011. He seems to have settled finally at a club. Quincy also has 18 caps and two goals for Ghana.
Alex Manninger – 1997-2002
The Austrian goalkeeper joined from Grazer AK in 2007 as a backup to David Seaman. In his first season he covered for the injured Seaman and went on to set a joint club record of six clean sheets in a row. He won the Premier League player of the month in March 1998. However he made way for Seaman when he returned, and continued to be an understudy. He made 64 appearances in his time at Arsenal. He enjoyed a loan spell at Fiorentina in 2002 and spent the next three years in Italy. Again it was mainly as an understudy at Torino and Bologna, with 19 appearances coming at Siena. He then went to Red Bull Salzburg before returning to Siena and then backed to Red Bull Salzburg again. In 2008 he joined Juventus as an understudy to Gianluigi Buffon. When the Italian was injured for a large spell that season, Manninger deputised well. He spent four years there making 35 appearances. His current club is Bundesliga side FC Augsburg.