The Arsenal academy has produced some fine players down the years, but who were the best?

A homegrown player donning the red and white and leading the team success evokes no end of pride. Even after the player has left the club, there’s still some fondness attached to them, as if they still represent the club and everything it stands for.

Over the years, the Arsenal academy hasn’t been the most prolific talent factory around, but it has produced some exceptional footballers. Getting the list down to just five was a tough order, and a couple of choices may seem controversial.

Nonetheless, here are my five greatest academy products of all time.

1Tony Adams

Mr Arsenal

Easy choice, right?

When you think Arsenal, you think Tony Adams.

A one-club man with a career spanning 19 years, most of which was spent as captain, Adams led the club to massive success during the late 80s and throughout the 90s.

He was at the heart of Arsenal’s defence during title wins in 89, 91, 98 and 2002, won the league and cup double twice as a player and also won the UEFA Cup Winners Cup.

The academy has yet to produce a centre back of his quality again, while it will also struggle to produce someone with the same level of passion and loyalty to Arsenal.