Today we look at midfielders who have put on the Arsenal shirt and quite frankly failed to look anything like a professional footballer.
Those that almost made the list but luckily for them just missed out are Abou Diaby, Kim Kallstrom, Ian Selley and David Hillier. Diaby I felt would have been harsh on a player who had more injuries than an A&E department. But let’s see those players who did make the list:
Amazingly Stefan Malz played 14 times for the club and scored twice, including a goal on his debut. The German arrived from 1860 Munich for £650,000 but struggled to break into the first team on a regular basis with Ray Parlour, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Freddie Ljungberg in front of him. Malz lasted two seasons at the club without anyone really knowing he was there. He arrived with high expectations from the club and left without a trace.
Do you remember where you were when John Jensen scored? It was, without doubt, a peach of a goal, curled into the net against QPR. Unfortunately, it was his only goal for the club.
George Graham brought in John Jensen for £1.1m to replace David Rocastle in 1992 after a storming European Championship with Denmark. He made 138 appearances for the club in a team that had little creativity or flair. That’s not Jensen’s fault as he was more of a workman like player. No one really disliked him and we realized he had his limitations, one of them being shooting. But losing Rocastle and buying Jensen is like having steak and replacing it with mutton. But somehow he remains a cult hero?
Such a strange signing by Arsene Wenger. Amaury Bischoff arrived for £250,000, having made one senior appearance for Werder Bremen after being plagued by injuries. Even Wenger admitted it was a gamble, but even so he was signed. Wenger claiming how talented the player was. In his one season, he made 4 appearances all from the bench. He was so hugely talented that he failed to break into the first team and left at the end of the season. He now plays in the German third tier.
Brought to the club in 2006 for £3.4m from São Paulo. He was described by Arsene Wenger as a little bit in between Tomas Rosicky and Gilberto. If this was the case we all thought we could have some player. Incredibly a first team regular making 153 appearances and scoring 10 goals. Apparently technically gifted, but you wonder how difficult it is passing the ball five yards sideways. There were times when you though this boy can play but they were few and far between. His contract was ended by mutual consent in 2011.
Now I loved Junichi Inamoto, not sure why but I did. Of course, 4 appearances and no goals does not help his case, but I still feel he may have been able to improve if given more of a chance. However, he was always going to struggle to get into a first team containing the double winning side. But £4m for a player to not break through seems an awful lot of money. He did go on and gave a storming World Cup but had just left the club at the time. To little too late for Inamoto.
Signed in 1997 from non-league German side FC Feuct. He somehow spent five years at the club making 11 appearances and scoring two goals. Strangely Wenger had only watched Mendez once and was convinced he had potential. Even the player himself was shocked that Arsenal wanted to sign him and admitted he had a poor match. Wenger himself admitted Mendez was terrible in the game. But sign him we did for £250,000 and five years later he was gone. The fact it took five years for the club to decide he was not going to make it seems surprising.
Signed by George Graham in 1989 for £475,000, Jonsson was part of the 1990/91 title-winning squad. In his two seasons, he made 10 appearances and scored once. There isn’t much to remember about Siggi apart from his extremely white hair which made him stand out a mile, unfortunately, his football talent failed to live up to expectations. His Arsenal career was blighted by injuries and never managed to break into the side.