Arsenal has had some special midfield players in the Premier League and we look at the cream of the crop.
Arsenal supporters might not be too delighted with the team’s performances or results at the moment, although the Gunners are still among the best teams in England and they won their 13th FA Cup in May 2017 to become the most successful club in that competition.
In this article, we look at some of the best midfield players to don the red and white during the Premier League era, with the supporters being royally treated to a high caliber in this position over the years.
- Mesut Ozil
We start with a modern day player and Ozil has largely shone for Arsenal since arriving in 2013 from Real Madrid, with the German helping the Gunners win three FA Cups, while he was also the Premier League’s top assist provider during the 2015-16 campaign. That was an exemplary campaign for the German maestro as he provided assist after assist with each passing game, while playing some mesmerizing football.
The 29-year-old generally operates as an advanced playmaker who is comfortable playing on either flank or in a central position, with his trickery making him one of the most skillful players to ever wear an Arsenal shirt.
- Paul Merson
Younger football fans might only be familiar with Merson through his work with Sky Sports, although this was a player who made a grand total of 327 appearances for the Gunners and he managed to score 78 times between 1985-1997. Merson could play in a variety of roles across the midfield area, with the Londoner originally playing in a right-wing position although George Graham started to play him in a more advanced and central position as his career continued.
- Cesc Fabregas
While it rankles with Arsenal supporters to see the Spaniard now operating for Chelsea, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Fabregas was a real breakthrough star with the Gunners, making his debut at the tender age of seventeen (sparking the chant “he’s only seventeen, he’s better than Roy Keane”). The departure of Patrick Vieira saw Fabregas given the number four shirt and he quickly became the team’s midfield general. The lad had everything in his locker and controlled countless games as a box-to-box midfielder.
Fabregas became Arsenal captain during the 2008 / 09 season and should really have won more silverware with the club than a solitary FA Cup in 2005.
- Robert Pires
Pires spent six happy seasons at Arsenal and was part of the Invincibles team that went unbeaten in the Premier League during the 2003 / 04 campaign. The Frenchman was a fast attacking player who was especially noted for his link-up play with Thierry Henry, often forming a telepathic understanding.
Between 2002 to 2004, Pires was included in the PFA Team of the Year, with the midfielder having the knack of scoring spectacular goals as well as brilliant technical skill to beat opponents.
- Patrick Vieira
Vieira can lay claim to being the best ever Premier League player of all time. Between 1996-2005, he made 279 appearances for the Gunners and was the driving force behind them winning multiple trophies during this time.
Like Pires, the Frenchman was instrumental in Arsenal going unbeaten during 2003-4, with the team captain proving to be combative in midfield where he was able to win the ball back and distribute accordingly to more skilful team-mates.
Vieira had a long loping gait and one of the Premier League’s most iconic images is the player roving forward with the ball at his feet after dispossessing the opposing team.
We’d like to offer a big shout out to the football tipsters at Sportsgambler.com for contributing this article.
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