Arsenal’s first team squad has undergone quite a transformation since Arsene Wenger left, but who is the longest serving player and who will that be when the transfer window closes?
Hector Bellerin is currently Arsenal’s longest serving player, having arrived at the club in 2011 from Barcelona before being promoted into the first team in 2014.
Of course, Bellerin spent last season on loan and will be leaving this summer, likely for good as his contract expires next summer, so when the window closes, if Bellerin is gone, who then moves up to number one?
Arsenal have 13 players left at the club who were in the first team when Mikel Arteta took over in December, 2019 and, of those, eight are likely to remain past the close of this summer’s window.
Of course, there are others who have been at the club since they were kids, but I’m only looking at time in the first team squad for this piece.
Those players are:
- Mohamed Elneny (Jan 2016)
- Granit Xhaka (July 2016)
- Rob Holding (July 2016)
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles (July 2017)
- Bernd Leno (July 2018)
- Lucas Torreira (July 2018)
- Eddie Nketiah (July 2019)
- Reiss Nelson (July 2019)
- Bukayo Saka (July 2019)
- Gabriel Martinelli (July 2019)
- William Saliba (July 2019)
- Nicolas Pepe (Aug 2019)
- Kieran Tierney (Aug 2019)
The club would also like to get rid of Nicolas Pepe.
So, at the end of this transfer window Arsenal’s longest serving first team player will be one we’ve tried to sell in most windows since he arrived – Mohamed Elneny, if you ignore the fact he was out on loan.
He recently signed a new one-year deal to keep him to the club until 2023, with an option of a further year should the club wish to trigger it.
As a result, Elneny has enjoyed a summer free from speculation.
Second on the list is a player who has been stripped of the captaincy, told fans to f**k off and was almost sold to Roma last year. He was also given a new contract last season, although Arsenal were much quieter about that.
If you look at players who have remained in the Arsenal first team, without loans, Granit Xhaka is our longest serving player.
After the midfielder, the next player is Rob ‘I’m sorry he didn’t cost £50m’ Holding.