On this day in 1999, Nwankwo Kanu made his debut for Arsenal against Sheffield United.

After playing just 12 matches for Inter, Kanu signed for Arsenal for a reported £4.15m in January 1999.

The forward made his debut on 13 February against Sheffield United in the FA Cup. Although Arsenal won the match 2-1, it was forced to go to a reply after Arsene Wenger acknowledged the second goal from Marc Overmars hadn’t been sportsmanlike since a Ray Parlour throw in, intended for Sheffield United goalkeeper, Andy Kelly, was chased down by Kanu and then slotted home by the Dutchman.

10 days later, Arsenal won the replay 2-1 with goals from Overmars and Dennis Bergkamp.

Despite his controversial start, Kanu went on to became a cult hero for Arsenal fans. His playing style was elegant, graceful and entertaining to watch. Plus, he scored when it mattered. For example, one of his stand-out performances was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when he brought Arsenal from 2-0 down to 3-2 up in 15 minutes.

In total, the Nigeria international featured 198 times for the Gunners (104 starts) and scored 44 goals before signing for West Brom in 2004.


Sources: Wiki, Arsenal.com.