Do Arsenal have future club legends in the making at present? (Opinion)

After recent comments by Martinelli quoted to ESPN in Brazil “We always want more of course. Arsenal is a giant team. If I can I’ll stay here my whole life. I want to conquer things. I already said I want to stay here and win titles with this wonderful crowd, teammates”. This makes me happy and excited that a player of Martinelli’s quality has kind of pledged his future to our club. It has got me thinking. Does this mean we will finally have a player or players after quite a while of waiting who will eventually have legend status with the club?

Not many players in recent years at our club have had this accolade. It is not as easy to come by in this day and age compared to the days of the Adam’s, Keown and the Henry’s. I think the list could go on and on who I could class as a legend back when those players played.
Now I struggle to find someone who has left us or retired in the last ten years to put in this Illustrious group. I can think of a couple who could come close Fabregas, Arteta but my main one is Cazorla. Unfortunately, Santi having serious injuries in his career, at one point nearly losing his leg. This unfortunately shortened his career with us, but he still managed six years with 129 appearances and a fan favourite winning Arsenal player of the season. Two FA cups and two community shields. He would always be welcome back at our club with the respect he deserves. But still can these be classed as proper legends?

What do I class as a legend? Not just mastering their position, scoring lots of goals or keeping the most clean sheets. But having a connection with the supporters and most importantly having loyalty and being an ambassador for their club and having pride wearing the shirt and badge of The Gunners.

This is probably why so many had legendary status in the 90’s because of their longevity with our team. Tony Adams was obviously a quality defender and had a great partnership with Keown, going on to win many trophies. His loyalty to our club spending 19 years with us and only us, was tantamount to him being classed as a legend by fans and the club, even getting a statue.

Henry 377 appearances. The Ice Man and my favourite ever player Dennis Bergkamp with 423 appearances, Patrick Viera 406. If you look at stats for players playing around the 90’s-2000’s they had long stays with our club. With most either seeing out their playing days or unfortunately going down the pecking order under their manager and seeing out their careers with other clubs.

In my opinion, money and playing in Europe are the biggest factors for a player’s decision now, whether they commit to a club long term. You can have a player playing for his boyhood club, but if this club is not competing and big money comes in, it’s soon realised loyalty wasn’t so important.

We have a great group of players who all are aiming for big things. It would be easier to tell what some would do if we had a crystal ball to tell us where our and their future lies. If we knew what position we will be in come the end of the season.

Already talk that Saka should go if we do not get a Champions League spot, which I find as nonsense. I can’t see him leaving us even if we do not make it this season. He knows we have a great squad, who with a few additions will make it even greater. He has close relationships within the team, so it will not happen. I think his heart will rule and he will stay with the club he loves and he will be one of the next legends.

Alongside Smith Rowe, Martinelli and Ramsdale who I also cannot see leaving for a very long time. These are all players who have the capabilities to progress, be the influence to winning us trophies, having the talent in their positions and being fan favourites.

Have we finally got a group of players who will put their passion for playing for our club, wearing our badge, the love of the supporters, before a big money transfer? and get the accolade of being a legend? I sure hope so!

Until next time.

Sarah Rohan

Tags Gabriel Martinelli


  1. In my opinion, a player deserves the legendary status only if he wins a major trophy for the club as a key player. So I only consider the Invincibles as the legends in the last two decades

    The likes of Fabregas, Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez just made us happy with some FA Cup and League Cup trophies

    As for our current young players, I think they can give us at least one Europa League trophy

      1. Doesn’t really matter Kev, because most big EPL teams usually field their fringe, squad rotation and young players until they reach the semifinal

        1. GAI I know but you said they won fa cup and league cup trophies not that it matters as I don’t rate the trophy anyway, I’ve always said it should be kept for the lower league teams. Although I wouldn’t bank on Arsenal winning a Europa league our European record is abysmal,.one cup winners cup and fairs cup which don’t even exist anymore, I think Arsenal are more of a domestic team than a European one… I’ve always wanted to see the team lift either a UEFA Cup or European cup but maybe we just aren’t meant to win in Europe.

          1. Kev the UEFA cup/Europa league is today’s equivalent of the Fairs cup, just as the Champions League was the European cup.

    1. Winning a major trophy is not the only factor of considering somebody as a club legend.. Insigne is the current captain of Napoli and their academy player but only won two Italian cups with them.. Can you say that he won’t be a legend for Napoli when he retires?

  2. For me the standards have dropped in players we have seen from 15-20 years ago and that goes for the whole of the PL .
    You rightly mentioned Bergkamp Henry and Vieira but when you saw those teams we played against and the players they also put on show todays players can not hold a candle to them .

    1. I agree with you.. People keep saying that football has evolved but in my opinion it didn’t evolve.. Modern players are fragile and mentally weak unlike the players of old times when they were fighting week in week out .. Also the scarcity of talent is obvious.. Messi are Ronaldo were anamolies because they had amazing players perfectly tailored around them who helped with their success over the years in barca and Madrid.. But overall the talented pool gets smaller by the years

    2. Also by how hard it is to find a baller like KDB or Cazorla these days when back in the day players of that calibre were in all the top teams in Europe.. Modern players are just robots

  3. Out of our current crop of players I see ESR most likely to stay and potentially become a legend. I see Saka leaving even if only in 2-3 years.

    That being said the squad now is very far off the status of the players mentioned in the article even if they are good.

    1. I agree that the squad now is very far off that status. But I would like to know why do you think that Saka would leave us in 2-3 years? Is it because of the newspapers making rumors and other clubs being interested in him like they would be in any other player of his abilities and age or is it something else?

      1. 1. History of Arsenal not being able to keep their top player even with CL football

        2. Being talked about all over the world after every game even in USA adding to his allure

        3. Already being heavily involved in weekly transfer rumours from the top teams in Europe

        Our one saving grace is that Barce and Real Madrid seem to be struggling financially. We’ll see if he puts pen to paper quickly at the end of the season or delays.

        MA has proven to be ruthless with players he doesn’t like, will be interesting to see if he is consistent with a player like Saka if he decides to stall contract talks.

        1. 1. We were paying debts for new stadium
          2. Isn’t that what we want, our players to be that good to be talked about all over the world
          3. In that case Saka will be gone and we will have atleast 55 new players next season

          Saka said that he loves Arsenal and want to win big things here, that he will not be signing a new contract untill the season ends because he wants to focus only on football. But ofcourse anything is possible in football and things can change quickly but I believe that he will be staying here for a long time.

          1. 1. We didn’t recoup much funds from our top players, it was more about them wanting to leave after not challenging for trophies. So the paying off debt didn’t have much to do with it. Is our stadium payed off?
            2. Yes of course, doesn’t change the facts that it increases interest.
            3. Childish answer but I guess that’s what you prefer. Again fact remains it more likely than if there were zero rumours so the point stands.

            Yes we’ve never seen players saying that they love Arsenal then leave a season or 2 later right?

            Not really sure why you can’t stand someone having a different opinion to your own. You can’t disprove an opinion as much as you try 😀

            1. Who says he can’t stand someone having a different opinion? Read your comments and his responses, you both are objective. So how can he not stand your opinion?

          2. I wish to differ. Mr. Wenger and the lies told then had a big say in the transfers. He transferred the players for money which had nothing to do with the loan repayments. Stan would have supported him then as he did now for Mikel. So those were lies fed to us every single window as the grand old man became too complacent and arrogant.
            For a player to be a legend, he has to have the character, ambition and the DNA in his blood every time he walks onto the pitch. Alan Shearer won the EPL with Blackburn but is a Toon legend. So wining trophies is a bonus, passion, love, dedication, respect makes you a legend. Parting on a good note is part of the process. Fabregas will never be our legend as he parted on a sour note. Except for Giroud in my opinion none of the payers post invincible era can be named as a legend for the clun, not even Per or Kos. Now with Mikel strongly saddled in the seat, a new era is dawned and we will see future legends – Odegard, Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, ESR, Saka, Marteneli, Tierney in the making.
            As they say – the fish rots first in head, we needed to hire a proper coach/manager to head the club and after doing so, all things are falling in place after nearly 2 decades.

  4. I don’t think they need to have won anything, it’s just about doing something extraordinary during their time here.
    To me, fabregas is a legend because he produced and was part of some incredible moments, even though he didn’t win anything.
    I don’t think Cazorla played enough to have that status in my eyes, but he was close and can understand people who disagree. His personality left a mark almost as much as his skill
    Parlour is a legend to me for many reasons beyond just what he won.
    But if course the usual suspects do stand above all others because they were leaders in successful times – Henry, Vieira, Adams, Bergkamp

      1. 🤣 true but Rosicky is still my favourite Arsenal player! Everything about him on a football pitch was perfect.

        1. Yea great little player
          Remember him scoring that wonder strike for the Czech in the summer we signed him think it was the World Cup

          1. of course, I wasn’t making fun of Rosicky, as he was a wonderful watch, when healthy, which therein lies the problem…DK check out the posts following the KC Laca article and see if you can “decipher” what’s going on there

  5. So here is what football manager 2020 says. They are usualy good at this kind of thing but can be argued as everything else ofcourse.
    Wright as players
    Chapman as coaches

    Then there are icons:

    And then there are favored personnel:

    I guess you could put under favored personnel the rest of invincibles and some others like Santi, Van Persie if you can forgive him going to Man United and whoever else you liked to be your favored player.

    1. Lord Mortivor

      like most things, it is always about opinions.
      i agree with some and disagree with others
      i loved Liam Brady who was blessed with supreme skill , my name sake Alan Ball, Charlie George,
      should Bertie Mee as a manager be in there as the first manager to bring home the double
      super Mac, Pat Rice , Frank Mclintock
      the list could go on and on but one thing we can all agree on is they all played for us and at one point of time or another they produced a bit of magic either in a pass, goal, tackle, save goal ect which made us sit up and say WOW

  6. Interesting few lists thanks Lord Mortivor, I wonder what criteria they use to establish that, it’s about personal memories and favourite players over the years in my opinion, we will all have different thoughts on that, all as good as each others

    Bit surprised Pat Rice, Frank McLintock and Dave O’Leary didn’t make the cut and Charlie George is definitely an “Icon” in my Arsenal life

    But hard to argue with those that did make the lists

    As I say each to their own and there’s no wrong or right but it continues to surprise me that Keown always gets mentioned in these things

  7. The potential is there for several young players in the squad.

    It’s all opinion based, so people have their own criteria.

    IMHO It’s the
    1. “wow” factor they show on the pitch
    2. Consistently play at a high level
    3. Passion for the club
    4. Accomplishments
    5. Connections with the fans

  8. This very much depends on the club’s attitude towards having an actual ambition to at least play in the UCL. That means buying your way into it, like Man City, manure and Chelsea have and like murdering-journalists FC will.

    With the exception of a few odd seasons, like when Chelsea finished 8th, Leicester won the title etc.

    Either way, I believe this group will at least stay as long as RVP has, which is actually quite decent. The man left when he was at the very end of his peak.

  9. The term legend, despite being wrongly used, – as actual legends are such as Robin Hood, King Arthur etc – has come to mean, in football terms , players who have great and long lasting achievements at one club , plus a strong connection to our fans and a long career at the club.

    That being so, the last proper “legends” we had at AFC were a number who played in The Invincibles era, but I suggest, not a single one who has played since then.

    We fans HOPE that such as SAKA, ESR, RAMSDALE, MARTINELLI may, IN TIME, become legends .

    But that is some way down the track, IF even then. Thus PARLOUR WAS A LEGEND, KOSCIELNY WAS NOT!!

  10. Good article Sarah. “Legends” is a heady title but it’s loses it’s impact if you class every man and his dog as one, so we need to have them meet several high level criteria to enter that category. Also we should differentiate between club and football legends, as the two can differ, especially if a significant part of their footballing success or reputation was achieved elsewhere. We often label anyone with a long Arsenal career as a legend. For me they need all of the following:
    1 A long time and significant number of appearances for the club
    2 To be UNIVERSALLY appreciated as a a world-class player in their position throughout a significant part of their Arsenal career
    3 During their time here they have contributed appreciably to success at the club
    4 They always played with commitment and passion for the cause, win or lose
    5 They never blotted their copybook with the fans
    For me 2 is necessary simply to limit the list to a reasonable number, thus meaning that legends really are the cream of the Arsenal crop.

    So Fabregas doesn’t qualify because he only won one trophy and also let the fans down (RVP too). Many classic Arsenal defenders such as McLintock and O’Leary could not be called world class, as couldn’t Parlour or Rocastle. Unfortunately I also discard two of my favourite players Ball and Brady as they both played in a markedly unsuccessful Arsenal team.
    So for me true Arsenal legend status is limited to Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira, Wright, Seaman, Campbell, Pires, Bastin, Ljungberg, Adams, whilst considerably more ex-players can be classed as icons of the club.

    1. Come on guy…
      Let’s make an exception for ballie and chippy
      The wonder goal against the spuds must count for something
      Might have won goal of the month if not season

      1. In the game where Alan Sunderland scored a hat trick AlanBall08? (a bit like the “Mathews Final” in the 50s when Stan Mortenson scored a Hat Trick!), not that I didn’t love watching Liam Brady, pure class

        I was on the Shelf that day, away from the Arsenal fans so difficult to celebrate at the time!

        Guy, was Ian Wright World class?, he arrived after both George Graham League Championship wins and had effectively been replaced by Anelka (and then Henry later) by the time Arsene did his first double in 98 and had those fantastically successful years

        So Wrighty “only” contributed to FA Cup and League Cup successes and was banned for the European Cup Winners Cup Final when Smithy scored the winner, 1-0 to the Arsenal

    2. guy, you are clearly not old enough to have seen the young O’Leary play regularly. He was widely regarded at that time as the best defender in Europe. He is OBVIOUSLY a legend. How you can say otherwise is amazing.
      Brady is too , plus Parlour and McLintock. Whatever is wrong with you today?

    3. I’m South African and these guys mentioned above I’ve heard a lot of were before my time….so to me they are legends…….Liam Brady….Charlie George…Pat Rice…Frank McLintock….Dave O’Leary…Pat Jennings…Cliff Bastin…Allen Smith…George Armstrong…Frank Stapleton..

  11. Morning all
    I was just reading most of your posts again and a thought came to me.
    How nice and calm it has been on each and everyone’s views and opinions compared to other posts where there seems to have been an unsavoury taste on occasion left in the messages.
    Maybe on occasions I might have unknowingly fallen in to that trap myself
    Thank you for a good topic and a really good read. has brought back some great memories and hopefully the players of today might be the stars and legends for us in the future

  12. Classy post Jakes Mradu, you don’t have to have lived through it to appreciate your team’s history and be a true Arsenal fan

    I agree Alanball08

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs