Wilshere’s Return – 4 Arsenal Legends Who Returned To North London

Jack wilshere is continuing his rehabilitation with the Arsenal first team squad out in Dubai.

As is normal when non-contracted players join the first team for training, Wilshere has been given the latest gear with a number on it. 12 was available so he got given that.

As expected, this created a lot of excitement amongst Arsenal fans who saw this as a sign that he was going to come back.

He is unlikely to sign a 6 month deal with Arsenal. But if he does he will not be the only former star that joined us for to regain fitness and ended with a second spell at the club.

Sol Campbell

Sol Campbell began training with the Arsenal side in mid-October 2009 in a bid to maintain his fitness ahead of the January transfer window. On 15 January, he re-signed with the club.

Nine days later he made his second debut in an FA Cup defeat to Stoke City. On 18 February, he scored his first goal in his second stint at the club with a headed goal against Porto in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

Sol Campbell close to Arsenal return after playing for reserves | Arsenal |  The Guardian

Due to injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas towards the end of the season, he found himself starting frequently for Arsenal.

In July 2010, Campbell joined Newcastle United on a one-year contract.

His second stint at the club saw him play 14 games, scoring 1 goal.

Jens Lehmann

In March 2011, rumours began circulating that Jens Lehmann might come out of retirement due to an injury crisis at the club leaving us with only one fit senior keeper, Manuel Almunia.

At the time, Lehmann was also scheduled to spend six weeks working on his coaching badges at his old club.

With Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone all out injured, 17 March 2011 Lehmann signed for Arsenal on a rolling contract until the end of the season and was named on the substitutes bench 2 days later.

On 10 April 2011, Lehmann started for the first team in an away game against Blackpool. He was forced to start the game when Almunia was injured in the warm up.

Jens Lehmann at Arsenal to Paul Scholes at Man United: Five football stars  who came out of retirement | London Evening Standard | Evening Standard

Winning 3–1, it was his 200th appearance for Arsenal.

At 41 years and 150 days, Lehmann became the oldest player to play for Arsenal in the Premier League but not the oldest to play for the team.

His contract with Arsenal expired at the end of the season, and then he decided to retire once again.

The Blackpool appearance was his only game during the spell.

Thierry Henry

After training with Arsenal during the MLS off-season, Henry re-signed for the club on a two-month loan deal on 6 January 2012. This was to provide cover for Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh, who were unavailable due to their participation in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Henry was given the number 12 shirt– his old Arsenal number 14 being worn by Theo Walcott.

To one of the loudest Emirates roars, Henry made his second Arsenal debut as a substitute against Leeds United in the FA Cup third round and scored the only goal.

1 year on - Henry vs Leeds

In his last league game on loan, he scored the winning goal in stoppage time in a 2–1 win against Sunderland.

He would return to New York Red Bulls for a further 3 seasons before retiring.

Two goals in his seven appearances would extend his club record to 228 goals.

Mathieu Flamini

Flamini began training with Arsenal midway in early August 2013, with the reason to “solely maintain fitness” with a view to signing for a club in England.

Immediately it sparked media attention with claims rising that he would soon sign for Arsenal. But this was denied by many at the club.

Flamini, however, did indeed sign for Arsenal on 29 August 2013 and became Arsenal’s second acquisition of the summer, after Yaya Sanogo.

He made his returning debut on 1 September at Emirates Stadium against Tottenham Hotspur, coming on for Jack Wilshere and helping the team secure a 1–0 win. His performances after signing were lauded by both critics and fans alike, and had featured in all of Arsenal’s Premier League, Football League Cup and European games since, with many seeing his signing, and his combative style of play, as one of the key reasons for Arsenal’s excellent early season form.

He scored his first goal in his second spell at Arsenal on 30 November, the second in a 0–3 away win at Cardiff City. He has also scored in a crucial 1–1 draw against Manchester City and helped the club finish top 4.

Flamini’s second spell at the club would see him stay for 3 years and win 2 FA Cups.

Arsenal star eyes THIRD FA Cup triumph at expense of Aston Villa | Football  | Sport | Express.co.uk

He is perhaps best remembered for what happened in 2015.

On 23 September 2015, Flamini earned his first start of the 2015–16 season in the Football League Cup third round tie against Tottenham Hotspur. He scored both of Arsenal’s goals with a Man of the Match performance.

Flamini would join Palace for a season before finishing his career in Spain.

He played 93 games, scoring 5 goals, in that second spell for Arsenal.



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