Greatest Irish footballers to play for Arsenal

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Nowadays, Arsenal’s side is full of the usual mixture of Spaniards, South Americans, and Englishmen but before the club used to be a stronghold for Irish talent

Although the Gunners do not have modern heroes such as Robbie Keane from Spurs in the ranks, they have some legends of the past. Judging by their recent run of form, manager Mikel Arteta would not hurt his squad by trying a few Irish players again.

Here is a list of the top five greatest Irish players to ever play in the Red side of London for Arsenal.

Niall Quinn

Quinn was not a legend at Arsenal, only just a bit-time player that later discovered his form and Manchester City and especially Sunderland. Spending seven years at the club starting in 1983, he only managed 67 appearances.

He never set Highbury alight but he did score 14 goals in his stay. Unfortunately he never qualified for a Premier League winners medal in the seasons where the club dominated England.

Frank Stapleton

Now to a striker that the club wishes they could have back. Stapleton made 300 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 108 times. This good goalscoring record made him Arsenal’s top scorer for three seasons in a row.

He started at the Reds in 1974 and played there for seven years. His crowning moment was one of the FA Cup Final winning goals he scored in 1979. He later moved onto Manchester United for six more years.

Pat Rice

The Belfast right-back started his playing career at Arsenal in 1967 and he would stay there for 13 years. He did it all for the club, winning FA Cups, English Leagues, playing in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

He also captained the team in 1977 for three years until moving to Watford. He would later return to Arsenal in a managerial role at the youth level before becoming the right-hand man to Arsene Wenger.

He was their assistant manager throughout their greatest years from 1996 until 2012.

David O’Leary

A reliable defender by Jack Charlton’s standards, he never reached his potential with Ireland but does own credit to our greatest moment. The ball-playing center-back started at the club in 1975, becoming their record appearance maker over 18 years.

With 772 registered caps he is now ranked in the top 15 greatest Arsenal players of all time. Irish fans will still remember him better for slotting the penalty against Romania in 1990.

Liam Brady

The greatest of them all, Brady was a maestro in midfield for Ireland. He was a once-in-a-generation player that owned the Gunners’ pitch for seven years.

With his left foot, he could find any player on the pitch with dangerous accuracy. He was voted the PFA Player of the Year in 1979 showing he was the pivotal part of the club.

He moved on to great success with Juventus and is still regarded as probably Ireland’s greatest player ever.

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