Gael Clichy left Arsenal in the summer of 2011 because he didn’t feel wanted, so who else left that summer which heralded the start of the Banter Era.
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?
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who is now 30, plays for Livingston.
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 (34 in May).
Emmanuel Eboue retired from playing in May 2016. After leaving Arsenal he was 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 signed for Anderlecht on a free transfer from West Ham in July 2019 but has been without a club since the summer of 2020. He’s 33.
Armand Traore, 31, is without a club since Cardiff City released him in January 2020 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.
Gilles Sunu, who is still only 29, was another without a club after a short spell at BB Erzurumspor, a second-tier Turkish side, ended in July 2018. He signed for LB Chateauroux in Ligue 2 in January, 2020.
Luke Freeman currently plays for Nottingham Forest on loan after showing himself to be a decent Championship-level player. Last season, in the Premier League with Sheffield United, he played only 16 times for the Blades, despite arriving as their club record signing in the summer of 2019.
There was even one kid who left that summer called Jamie Edge. He signed for Swindon Supermarine FC in 2018 and is still there.