In alphabetical order, here are just 10 Arsenal ‘wonderkids’ that have failed to make an impact for the Gunners after been touted as the next big thing at the North London club:
Lupoli was just 17 when he made the switch from Parma to Arsenal in 2004. The Italian striker was yet another promising prospect but failed to impress and shine for Arsenal football club. Many Arsenal fans (including me) thought that the Italian would have been one of those players who would see a majority of their career out at Arsenal, sadly we were mistaken. The forward could not settle in the area which led to Wenger sending the player out on-loan to Derby County after making just 9 appearances (3 as a substitute) in the red and white of the North London club. Lupoli did ok whilst playing for Derby and did manage to rack up a few appearances plus some goals (7 in 35). Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for Wenger to keep him at the club and let the striker join Serie A side Fiorentina in 2007 on a free. A promising talent, yet the Italian failed to deliver for the fans and Wenger. Artuto Lupoli is now playing in Serie B for Ascoli as part of a co-ownership deal
The Spaniard was tipped to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, but sadly for several Arsenal fans (including me) the creative midfielder was not given enough time to shine for the Gunners. Wenger acquired the youngster in 2007 from Barcelona but never gave the midfielder enough time to develop within the Arsenal squad. Many Arsenal fans would have been upset with the departure of the Spaniard this summer after they had expected the midfielder to play a more important role in the squad this season. Arsene Wenger also described him as an ‘absolutely amazing player’…so why didn’t you involve him in the team more, Arsene? Fran Merida has to be in this list purely for the fact that he was touted by many as the next Fabregas, yet we saw very little of his talent in the Arsenal jersey. Merida featured 15 times in a 3 year spell for the North London club and only bagged 3 goals. Merida signed for Atletico Madrid on a free in last season having refused an offer from Arsenal.
Speed, stamina and physically strong, Jay Simpson is yet another youngster who didn’t shine at the Emirates. Simpson only managed to notch up 3 appearances for the Gunners which came in the League Cup against Sheffield United in 2008. This was also the game where the striker bagged his first, and only two senior goals for the club. Like all the other young footballers at Arsenal, the striker was sent out on-loan to gain valuable first-team experience. Millwall, West Bromich Albion and QPR were the three clubs he had been loaned out to. The striker made a combined total of 99 appearances and bagged 23 goals for the three clubs mentioned above. Simpson finished his year loan spell at QPR last season, and Wenger insisted that the striker had a future at the Emirates this season. Unfortunately Simpson couldn’t wait much longer at Arsenal and recently signed a three-year deal with Championship side Hull City.