Ever since Arsene Wenger became the coach of Arsenal, he brought with him all the French talent including Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires to name a few. With a total of 29 Frenchman signed to date, below are the list of the top eleven French Gooners to wear the red and white.
The King of Arsenal, Thierry Henry remains Arsenal’s all-time scorer with 228 goals in all competitions. Gaining the reputation as one of Europe’s most feared strikers, Henry became the Premier League’s top goal-scorer in 4 different seasons, notching a prolific 32 goals and 23 assists in the 2002-03 season. With the ability to score anywhere on the pitch, he elevated his game in the 2003-04 season, scoring 39 goals in the Gunners unbeaten top-flight league season. Considered the greatest Gunner of all-time, Henry won two league titles, three FA Cups, four Golden Boots, and five Player of the Year awards throughout his career.
At 6ft 4in, the tough-tackling Frenchman Patrick Vieira played a critical role in Wenger’s squad as a box-to-box midfielder. His all-around excellence on both sides of the field earned him many plaudits, making him the Arsenal captain from 2002 – 2005. While not a prolific goal scorer, he nonetheless secured the Invincibles 2003–04 season with a crucial goal against Leicester City.
Signed by Arsenal in 2000 to replace Marc Overmars, Robert Pires quickly became the goalscoring winger Arsenal fans were looking for. A critical part of the 2003-04 Invincibles, he scored 57 goals in all competitions alongside Thierry Henry. Known for inspiring deadly counter-attacks and exquisite finishes, he set the bar high for the level of excellence expected at the club.
Originally signed to Monaco by Arsene Wenger, Emmanuel Petit reunited with Wenger at Arsenal for a transfer fee of £2.5 million in 1997. The versatile midfielder won the Double in his first year, locking up both the FA Cup and the Premier League. The next summer, he scored the third goal in France’s World Cup victory over Brazil.
Signed in 2010, the stalwart Laurent Koscielny has been a consistent and agile force covering the back for the Gunner defense. With over 324 appearances, he’s won two FA Cups and one Community Shield.
With 173 appearances over four years, Sylvain Wiltord scored 49 times, none more important than his goal against arch-rivals Manchester United that sealed the Double for Arsenal in the 2001/02 season.
Signing for an Arsenal transfer record €53 million from Lyon, the French striker Alexandre Lacazette scored 17 goals in his first season with Arsenal. With an excellent start to the 2018 season — five goals in ten games — he’s sure to prove his value for new head coach Unai Emery.
The versatile and industrious midfielder Mathieu Flamini made over 246 appearances in the Arsenal shirt, scoring 13 goals, most notably the two against London rivals Tottenham in 2015. Flamini won two FA Cups with the Gunners, plus a runner-up in the 2006 Champions League.
The French striker morphed into a prolific striker during his five and half year spell at Arsenal, scoring 105 times over 253 appearances. Instrumental in winning two FA Cups, Giroud will also be remembered for his spectacular scorpion goal against Crystal Palace in 2017.
The French striker only played two years with the Gunners but he made the most of it. He bagged 28 goals in 90 impactful appearances, helping Arsenal win the FA Cup and Premier League Double in 1997/98 season.
An incredible dribbler, Samir Nasri played 125 games with the Arsenal side before ending his tenure prematurely and moving to Manchester City. While he went trophyless at the club, his creativity and vision will always be remembered at the Emirates.
William Saliba enjoyed a solid Premier League debut for Arsenal with the team’s 22/23 season-opening win against Crystal Palace. The 21-year-old Frenchman already displays the poise and demeanor of a veteran defender. He’s also fast and easy on the ball. Saliba could take the #2 shirt this season with the imminent departure of club veteran Hector Bellerin.