Arsenal FC is one of the biggest and most historic English clubs, and the Emerald Isle has seen its fair share of representation. Here are the top ten Irish players who have played for Arsenal FC.
The Irish have most certainly made a mark on English football, gracing the upper echelons of the world’s most esteemed professional league. From Manchester United to Liverpool, and from Chelsea to Spurs, some of Ireland’s brightest talents have earned their stripes.
And it is no different when it comes to Arsenal. Arsenal have won 13 league titles, one of those being in their unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season, a record 14 FA Cups, two League Cups, and many more.
Across their haul of 47 major honours, some of the Emerald Isle’s top players have assisted. Here are the top ten Irish players who have played for Arsenal FC.
10. Niall Quinn – made his mark elsewhere
Kicking off our list of the top ten Irish players who have played for Arsenal FC is Niall Quinn. Admittedly, the striker made his mark more so for Manchester City and Sunderland.
However, the Dublin man did bag 14 goals in 67 appearances for the Gunners. He also played 92 times for Ireland, scoring on 21 occasions.
9. Eddie McGoldrick – hampered by injury
McGoldrick didn’t play much for Arsenal, as injury hampered his time there. He signed for £850,000 in 1993 from Crystal Palace.
McGoldrick managed a total of 38 appearances for the Gunners, alongside 15 caps for Ireland between 1992 and 1995. He is currently a foundation academy manager for Crystal Palace.
8. Jimmy Magill – one of the best Irish players to have played for Arsenal FC
The Lurgan man joined Arsenal back in 1959, earning his spot on our list of the best Irish players who have played for Arsenal FC thanks to his 116 appearances for the club.
Magill was in a constant battle for a starting berth at right-back but did enjoy a strong spell at the club between 1962 and 1964.
7. Sammy Nelson – an FA Cup winner
Sammy Nelson, the Belfast man, played 255 times for Arsenal as a left-back. He joined the club as a 16-year-old before becoming a professional there a year later.
Nelson gained an FA Cup medal in 1979, whilst he also played in the 1980 European Cup Winners’ Cup final.
6. Steve Morrow – a decade at Highbury
Defender Steve Morrow adds to our list of the best Irish players who have played for Arsenal FC. His infamous celebration following the League Cup victory is immortally remembered, where he fell and broke his elbow.
Morrow was at Arsenal from age 14 and played professionally between 1988 and 1997. He scored the winning goal for Arsenal in the 1993 League Cup final.
5. Frank Stapleton – Arsenal’s leading scorer for three years in a row
Stapleton is one of many players on this list who played in the three consecutive FA Cup finals for the Gunners between 1978 and 1980, scoring a goal in the victory over United in 1979.
As a striker, Stapleton finished as Arsenal’s top scorer three years on the bounce, with a superb return of 108 goals in 300 appearances for the club.
4. Pat Jennings – one of the best goalkeepers of all time
Pat Jennings was a phenomenal goalkeeper and is regarded as one of the best of his time. He played for rivals Spurs for 13 years before spending eight years at Highbury.
Jennings played over 1,000 games at the top level of football. For Arsenal, he played 327 times while still at the peak of his powers.
3. Pat Rice – over 500 appearances for Arsenal
Pat Rice enjoyed such a strong career at Arsenal that he was ranked number 17 in the Gunners’ Greatest Player Poll back in 2008, a phenomenal feat.
He made his Arsenal debut as an 18-year-old and won two FA Cups (having played a record five finals). He played a total of 528 games for the Highbury club.
2. David O’Leary – club-record appearances
722. That is the number of times O’Leary lined out for the red of Arsenal, and to this day still stands as the club record for number of games played.
O’Leary played 68 times for Ireland. He won two league titles with Arsenal, alongside two FA Cups, and two League Cups and was a three-time Team of the Year man.
1. Liam Brady – the obvious choice
There is no other choice but Liam Brady to take top spot on our list of the best Irish players to have played for Arsenal FC. He will go down as one of Arsenal’s best ever players.
The Dublin man went on to play for the likes of Juventus, but at Arsenal he showed his best, earning the PFA Player of the Year Award in the 1978-79 season.
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