Earlier this week, Gael Clichy spoke about why he left the club, saying he wasn’t the only one who left in the summer of 2011 because he didn’t feel wanted, so I decided to see who else went during that window only to discover the start of the Banter Era.

Arsenal's French defender Gael Clichy (R) celebrates scoring the fifth goal during their FA Cup fifth round replay football match against Leyton Orient at the Emirates Stadium, London, England, on March 2, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ GLYN KIRK
Arsenal’s French defender Gael Clichy (R) celebrates scoring the fifth goal during their FA Cup fifth round replay football match against Leyton Orient at the Emirates Stadium, London, England, on March 2, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ GLYN KIRK

Read Gael Clichy’s comments here

The same summer Arsenal also released Mark Randall and Gilles Sunu for free and sold Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Eboue, Samir Nasri, Armand Traore, and Luke Freeman.

From that list, there were only two players that the club wanted to keep – Fabregas and Nasri – and rightly so when you look at where the rest ended up. It’s hardly a list of people who went on to have stellar careers.

Where are they now?

Mark Randall currently plays in Northern Ireland for Larne, who are owned by Kenny Bruce who hails from the port town, co-founded Purple Bricks in 2012 and has invested heavily in the area.

LONDON - NOVEMBER 11: Mark Randall (L) of Arsenal is tackled by Wilson Palacios of Wigan during the Carling Cup fourth round match between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic at the Emirates Stadium on November 11, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON – NOVEMBER 11: Mark Randall (L) of Arsenal is tackled by Wilson Palacios of Wigan during the Carling Cup fourth round match between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic at the Emirates Stadium on November 11, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who is now 29, plays for PTT Rayong in Thailand.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 26: (L-R) Arsenals Jack Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Sanchez Watt celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup during the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final sponsored by E.ON, between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on May 26, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 26: (L-R) Arsenals Jack Wilshere, Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Sanchez Watt celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup during the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final sponsored by E.ON, between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on May 26, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Cesc Fabregas could still be at Arsenal if we’d taken the chance to re-sign him when Barcelona were shipping him off. We didn’t. Now he’s playing in France with Monaco and is still only 33.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal celebrates scoring his second and the teams the third goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and AZ Alkmaar at the Emirates Stadium on November 4, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 04: Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal celebrates scoring his second and the teams the third goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between Arsenal and AZ Alkmaar at the Emirates Stadium on November 4, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Eboue has been without a club since 2016. Since leaving Arsenal has been banned for a year by FIFA for not paying his agent, suffered mental health problems and financial issues following his divorce.

Samir Nasri enjoyed success with City but it all went a bit south when he was handed a lengthy doping ban. He currently plays for Anderlecht.

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 04: Samir Nasri of Sevilla takes to the field during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 First Leg match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at Bernabeu on January 4, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN – JANUARY 04: Samir Nasri of Sevilla takes to the field during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 First Leg match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at Bernabeu on January 4, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Armand Traore, 30, is without a club since Cardiff City released him in January from a short-term contract. He didn’t play a single minute for them. Before that, he had been with Caykur Rizespor who tried to sell him in 2019 but couldn’t find a buyer.

Ultimately, they had to release him from his contract to hit their foreign player limit when Traore couldn’t find a club himself.

Armand Traore

Gilles Sunu, who is still only 29, is another without a club since a short spell at BB Erzurumspor, a second-tier Turkish side.

Angers' French forward Gilles Sunu reacts during the French Cup football match match between Angers (SCO) and Lorient (FC), on January 7, 2018, in Raymond Kopa stadium in Angers, northwestern France. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER
Angers’ French forward Gilles Sunu reacts during the French Cup football match match between Angers (SCO) and Lorient (FC), on January 7, 2018, in Raymond Kopa stadium in Angers, northwestern France. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER

Luke Freeman currently plays for Sheffield United after showing himself to be a decent Championship-level player. This season, in the Premier League, he has played nine times for the Blades, despite arriving as their club record signing last summer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United embraces Luke Freeman of Sheffield United after their sides victory in the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Millwall FC and Sheffield United at The Den on January 25, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 25: Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United embraces Luke Freeman of Sheffield United after their sides victory in the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Millwall FC and Sheffield United at The Den on January 25, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

There was even one kid who left that summer called Jamie Edge. He now plays for Gloucester City where he’s been since 2017.