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Seven Toolbox wonderkids that never ever made the grade at the Emirates

HECTOR BELLERIN, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah are simply three players that have made the transition from the Arsenal academy to the first string look easy.

The Gunners likewise have the similarity Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock that are continuing to impress having actually graduated from Hale End.

Mikel Arteta has followed in the footsteps of George Graham, Arsene Wenger and even Unai Emery in putting his faith in the club’s young gamers.

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But while a variety of Toolbox academy graduates have actually gone on to end up being world class stars, others though have stopped working to measure up to the hype.

Here SunSport looks at seven Toolbox ‘wonderkids’ that ultimately failed to qualify in North London.


Brother of Toolbox ace Joe, the 22-year-old was tipped for terrific success after breaking in with 9 objectives and 9 helps in 40 games for the U23’s.

The winger made 2 looks for the club during the 2016/17 season – both being available in the Carabao Cup against Nottingham Forest and Reading respectively.

But the winger stopped working to prove his worth to Wenger, who offered him to Benfica in 2017.

And after stopping working to make a senior appearance for the Portuguese attire, Willock spent time on loan at West Brom and Huddersfield prior to joining QPR in October 2020.


Signed from Barcelona in 2005, the Spanish midfielder broke into the first string throughout the 2007-08 season, featuring three times prior to signing up with Genuine Sociedad on loan.

Four appearances for Arsenal followed in the next campaign, with 9 trips in the 2009-10 term, consisting of an emphatic long-range strike in the League Cup win versus Liverpool.

He even discovered the back of the internet in a Premier League triumph over Bolton, however impatience got the better of him, and he refused a brand-new offer to sign up with Atletico Madrid in 2010.

It would be a decision he would later be sorry for as he stopped working to settle at Atletico, with the player connecting with Braga, Hercules, Atletico Paranaense and Huesca over the next 6 years.

Merida delighted in success at Osasuna between 2016-2020, before going back to Catalonia last summer to join Espanyol.


The Mexican international burst on the scene in the 2008-09 season where he scored a hat-trick on his complete debut against Sheffield United in the League Cup.

Over the next three campaigns he would be limited to simply starts in the League Cup and appearances off the bench in the league.

After 11 goals in 62 games, he linked with Genuine Sociedad in 2011, where he scored 73 times in 250 getaways.

And it is only given that joining LA Galaxy in 2018 that he has finally measured up to the hype, as he has actually scored an extraordinary 62 objectives in 80 games.



The Italian striker, now 33, signed up with Toolbox from Parma in 2004 off the back of scoring 45 goals in 22 games for the Serie A side’s U17 group.

And he maintained his goalscoring exploits the following campaign as he banged in 27 objectives for the Gunners’ youth side.

He even handled to include 4 times for the first team during the 2004-05 term, where he scored two times versus Everton in the League Cup.

A singular objective was all he might muster the next season, before he was loaned to Derby in 2006, where he scored seven objectives in 35 league games.

Lupoli joined Fiorentina in 2007 however never played a video game for La Viola, and he went on to bet 13 various clubs since that move.

He is now at Serie C side Virtus Verona, where he cracked in with 2 goals in 19 getaways last season.


The Brazilian winger, 28, never made a senior look for Arsenal in spite of taking part 2010.

Wenger routinely lauded his skills, but till the 2015-16 term, he stopped working to acquire the necessary work license in order to play in England.

That year he signed up with Bolton on loan, and after failing to pin down a starting spot, he chose to return to Brazil in 2016 with Fluminense.


The midfielder – who has actually represented both Germany and America at youth level – made his launching in 2014 at the age of 16.

In doing so, he ended up being the very first player born after Wenger organized Arsenal in 1996 to don the well-known red jersey.

Injuries stifled his possibilities in the first team and he was sent off on loan to Rangers and VVV-Venlo.

A knee injury in 2017 kept him out for 2 years, and he briefly plied his trade at MLS side New york city City however was made a free representative in December.


He may have scored a sensational strike against Arsenal for Tottenham, however it was with the Gunners that the ex-England global made his name.

The 36-year-old was compared to Dennis Bergkamp after his saucy chip against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in January 2004.

However that was the high point of his Toolbox career, and after 9 first team looks, he was offered to Blackburn in 2006.

Regardless of dazzling at Ewood Park, he flattered to trick at Spurs, and after loan spells away, he retired in 2014 at the age of 29.

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