These five players helped Arsenal to become one of the most successful English clubs in history in their respective eras, and are remembered for being amongst the very best in club history.

Last Updated: 20/06/23 at 12:14

While it may have been a tough few years towards the end and after Arsene Wenger's departure, last season, Arsenal looked ready to win their first Premier League title since 2004.

It has been a while since the Gunners have been in a position like the one they find themselves in now. But back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Arsenal at the top of the table was a very common sight.

That was thanks in part to Wenger, but maybe even more so, to the players on the team. Players who are without a doubt some of the greatest the Premier League has ever seen, let alone the club.

With this list, we have gone through all the best Arsenal players and have brought you five of the best in the club’s history.

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Thierry Henry

1999 - 2007 | Apps: 376 | Goals: 228 | Major Honours: 6

We start with undoubtedly the very best Arsenal player to ever pull on the shirt.

Thierry Henry made the game look far too easy far too often. He scored with ease, becoming Arsenal’s all-time top goal scorer with 228 goals. But maybe just as impressively, he became Arsenal’s all-time assist leader (since the stat was recorded) with 103.

A true great of the game, Henry won Player of the Year awards multiple times, was a runner-up in the Ballon d’Or in 2003 and third place in 2006, and was one of the inaugural inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame in 2021.

His greatest achievement with the team will no doubt be similar to that of three others on this list, and that is being part of “The Invincibles”, the 2003/04 side that won the Premier League title without a defeat.

Dennis Bergkamp

1995 - 2006 | Apps: 416 | Goals: 115 | Major Honours: 10

The “Non-Flying Dutchman” Dennis Bergkamp was one of the most technically gifted players of all time, and was a “dream for a striker”, as Henry put it. His place on the list of the best Arsenal players of all time is very much cemented, and here's why;

The Dutch international was a big part of the profound success Arsenal had in the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s, or more specifically, the beginning of the Arsene Wenger era.

His influence on the team brought a creative flow to their game. Bergkamp was able to create something out of absolutely nothing, and his teammates loved him for it, but were also, just like their opponents, often left dumbfounded with what he was able to do with the ball.

His personal honours are similar to those of Henry, only he achieved them a few years before; Ballon d’Or runner-up in 1993, third place in 1992, multiple Player of the Year’s, Premier League Hall of Fame and English Football Hall of Fame - the only Dutch player to be inducted.

Ian Wright

1991 - 1998 | Apps: 288 | Goals: 185 | Major Honours: 5

Ian Wright’s success story is that of perseverance. He didn’t become a professional until shortly before his 22nd birthday, and he signed for Arsenal when he was 28 for a then-record fee.

That’s what makes his achievements with the club even more incredible. While most strikers at the time were looking towards retirement when they neared 30 years old, Wrighty was breaking records well into his 30s.

A consistent scorer throughout his time with the Gunners, Wright led the team in scoring for six seasons in a row, and in September 1997, with a hat-trick against Bolton, he became the club's all-time top goalscorer, overtaking Cliff Bastin’s total of 178.

He finished with 185 goals and was surpassed by Henry in 2005, but the fact he broke the record at 34 years old with fewer games played overall makes his feat so remarkable.

Before Henry came along and mostly take the title, a strong claim was made that Ian Wright in his short time became the best Arsenal player in the clubs history.

Patrick Vieira

1996 - 2005 | Apps: 400 | Goals: 32 | Major Honours: 10

One of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Patrick Vieira was the necessary rock and leader in Wenger’s team. He was also the enforcer for whenever things got a bit chippy, especially with Manchester United and Roy Keane.

Vieira was a dominant box-to-box midfielder, utilising his aggression and strength to his advantage at any opportunity. His highly competitive nature and style of play is what made him a natural leader of the team, and gained captaincy from 2002 until he left in 2005.

The Frenchman lifted three Premier League titles with the club, including the 2003/04 title, “The Invincibles” season, which he captained.

Joining in 1996 after the dismissal of former manager Bruce Rioch, Vieira has previously stated that he signed for Arsenal because his compatriot, Arsene Wenger, was to be the club’s next manager (and eventually become their best manager in history).

Disciplinary problems were always an issue with Vieira, but he brought so much to the table that it was impossible to leave him out of the squad if he was available, even though he was a card risk. It also doesn't dent his case as one of the best Arsenal players ever.

Tony Adams

1983 - 2002 | Apps: 669 | Goals: 48 | Major Honours: 10

We end on a true club icon, fan favourite, and all-round English Football League legend. Tony Adams played his entire 19-year career with Arsenal, starting in 1983 (or 1980 if you want to count his youth career, too) and ending in 2002.

Adams, along with Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould, was part of the famous Back Four that manned the back line of Arsenal in the 80s. With the guidance of George Graham, that defence was renowned for its well-disciplined use of the offside trap.

“Mr. Arsenal” seemed destined for greatness, earning his call-up to the senior squad just four weeks after his 17th birthday, and was made captain at 21, which he held until his retirement.

An inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame, Adams is one of only five Arsenal legends to have a statue outside the Emirates Stadium, the other four being Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, former manager Herbert Chapman and life president of the club Ken Friar.

It's not often that a defender is recognised for their talents as most fans appreciate the goal scorers more. But Adams' impact was undeniable, and so is his place on the best Arsenal players list.

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