Where are they now? Arsenal's one-to-eleven of failed youth

Alex Iwobi has made an impressive start to his Arsenal senior career, but he wont be hoping to emulate these eleven.

Where are they now? Arsenal's one-to-eleven of failed youth
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored in every round of Arsenal's 2009 Youth Cup win but never made an impact in the senior side

If nothing else in 2016, Arsenal fans can be encouraged by the performances of young Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi in recent weeks.

The 19-year-old put in a solid performance out in Barcelona and followed it up with his first Arsenal senior goal away at Goodison Park during his first league start.

However, there are plenty of young players to show that Arsenal fans shouldn’t be getting too carried away just yet.

Goalkeeper: Stuart Taylor

Tipped to become David Seaman’s successor, Taylor can at least boast earning a Premier League medal in 2002 however the Romford-born shot stopper was never close to emulating Seaman.

Unable to shift Seaman’s actual successors Jens Lehmann and Manuel Almunia, Taylor left in 2005 only making 30 performances where he joined Aston Villa but never truly broke through as a first team goalkeeper, being second choice to Thomas Sørensen, Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan in his years at Villa Park.

Taylor had spells at Cardiff City, Manchester City and Reading before last being seen at Leeds United as second choice to Marco Silvestri, he was released from Leeds in May 2015.

Right-back: Nico Yennaris

Thrown in at the deep end with a league debut against Manchester United in January 2012 at the Emirates after a handful of substitute appearances in the cup, Yennaris actually put in a decent second half performance but it would go down as his only league outing for the Gunners in his three years.

Yennaris made only more appearance for Arsenal, assisting Arsenal’s fourth in a 6-1 win over Coventry City in the League Cup but the Greek Cypriot Londoner moved to Brentford in January 2014 helping the Bees to a promotion from League One.

He initially struggled to make an impact in his season in the Championship, moving on loan to Wycombe Wanderers and helping them reach the League Two play-off final, which they lost on penalties to Southend United.

Back at Brentford, he’s now playing defensive midfield for new manager Dean Smith where he’s made 24 appearances this season.

Centre-back: Matthew Upson

Signed for £2million from Luton Town in May 1997, Upson was seen as the successor to Tony Adams, however, with Adams, Steve Bould and Martin Keown ahead of him and suffering a spate of injury problems, he struggled to break through.

His best season was 2001-02 where he played 22 games in total, joining Stuart Taylor as a League & Cup double winner however, even after Adams and Bould’s retirements and Keown getting up in years, Upson couldn’t overtake new signings Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure and Pascal Cygan and was sold to Birmingham City in January 2003.

Upson found first team football in the Midlands, even with injury problems but was sold to West Ham United in January 2007 where he continued with his injury woes, lasing only 30 minutes of his Hammers debut and 11 minutes of his Upton Park debut in a 4-3 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

He finally got over some of his injury issues and in 2010 was picked for Fabio Capello’s England World Cup squad but was part of England’s disastrous 4-1 defeat to Germany even though he scored the Three Lions’s consolation.

He left the Hammers following their relegation to the Championship in 2011 and after spells at Stoke City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City, he’s currently with MK Dons in the Championship where he’s made seven appearances so far.

Centre-back: Kyle Bartley

Due to the centre-backs that have come through the Arsenal ranks in the past, it’s hard for any youngster to come through without being labelled the next Tony Adams.

Bartley was another who suffered that tag, being captain of Arsenal’s Youth League & Cup double winners in 2009 great things were expected from Bartley but he failed to make any impact for the senior team and after loan spells to Sheffield United and Glasgow Rangers he moved to Swansea City in 2012.

Bartley has been a rare figure for in South Wales, only making 26 appearances in all competitions in his four years at Swansea.

Left-back: Armand Traore

The French-Senegalese full back was signed from Monaco in 2006 but was very much caught in between being an okay left back and an okay left winger which meant he wasn’t very good at either.

Despite loan spells at then-FA Cup holders Portsmouth and Italian giants Juventus, Traore is best remembered for a horror show performance at Old Trafford where Arsenal lost 8-2, Traore was sold to QPR the following day where he remains to this day.

Defensive midfield: Emmanuel Frimpong

Another 2009 FA Youth Cup winner, the young Ghanian was seen as the midfield enforcer the Gunners had missed since Patrick Vieira’s move to Juventus in 2005.

However, ill discipline on the field, outside interests with cousin Lethal Bizzle off it and some unfortunate ACL injuries ruined Frimpong’s chance to make it at Arsenal.

He moved to Barnsley in January 2014 but was sent off half an hour into his debut against Sheffield Wednesday and was released after four months when the Tykes were relegated to League One.

Frimpong currently plays for FC Ufa in the Russian Premier League.

Central-midfield: Henri Lansbury

Not much can compare to scoring your first Arsenal goal, especially in a North London Derby, which is exactly what Lansbury did in 2010, opening the scoring in a 4-1 League Cup, win over Spurs.

However, despite impressing on a loan spell at Norwich City helping them gain promotion to the Premier League, he couldn’t get into the first team and was sold to Nottingham Forest in 2012 where he’s made over 100 appearances in the Championship.

Central-midfield: Thomas Eisfeld

The most optimistic of Arsenal fans must of been hoping the headlines of Arsenal signing a young, Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder were pointing to future German World Cup winner Mario Götze, in the end it was a far different prospect.

Eisfeld failed to make a league appearance for the Gunners in his two year stay but did help turn around a thrilling League Cup game at Reading, coming on as a second half substitute to help swing a 4-1 deficit into a 7-5 victory in extra time.

He also scored the opening goal the following season in a penalty victory over West Bromwich Albion, however, he was sold to Fulham in 2014 where he struggled to make any impact in his nine games and is now back in Germany with VFL Bochum in 2. Bundesliga.

Right-winger: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

The JET as he was nicknamed, was perhaps the most versatile member of the 2009 Youth Cup winners, being played all over the pitch before finding his feet as a forward where he scored in every round of the 2009 Youth Cup, captaining Arsenal in the final.

Thomas however, failed to find his feet at senior level, a couple of League Cup appearances and a late substitute appearance at Stamford Bridge in the league were his only highlights in the senior team.

Loan spells in the Championship with Blackpool, Doncaster Rovers, Cardiff City followed before a permanent move to Ipswich Town were goals were a rare occurrence still.

His best run came in League One with Bristol Rovers where he helped them get promoted to the Championship in 2015 but after moving to QPR in the summer, JET has again failed to find form and was loaned out to MK Dons in February 2016 where he’s yet to find the net.

Striker: Benik Afobe

With Olivier Giroud’s scoring drought in 2016, Afobe might be one Arsenal regret letting go.

A string of loans over his five years at Arsenal in the Football League, Afobe finally found his feet at MK Dons where he scored 19 goals in 30 games in his half season there, including two in a 4-0 League Cup win over Manchester United.

Wolverhampton Wanderers signed Afobe in January 2015 where he struck up an excellent partnership with Mali forwards Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko that almost got Wolves into the last Championship play-off place, Afobe finished the season with 13 goals in 21 games for Wolves and 32 over the season.

With Sako out of contract and Dicko injured, Afobe wasn’t quite as prolific in his second season at Molineux and left the club in January for AFC Bournemouth where his goals have helped steer the newly promoted club to near-safety.

Left-wing: Quincy Owusu-Abeyie

Another forward prospect that failed to make the grade, Quincy signed from the Ajax academy was impressive in the under 17s with 17 goals in 20 games, including six against Wolves.

Although he made brief league appearances, Quincy’s best games came in the League Cup where he scored one and assisted two against Everton in November 2004 and in 2005 helped beat Reading 3-0 in the same competition.

Unable to overtake Thierry Henry, Emmnauel Adebayor, Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott, Quincy left for Spartak Moscow in 2006.

His spell in Moscow was mostly spent on loan back in England with Birmingham, Cardiff and Portsmouth before signing for Al-Sadd in 2010.

He’s currently out of contract after leaving Boavista in summer 2015 following spells at Malaga and Panathinaikos, his proudest moment is probably being apart of Ghana’s World Cup quarter-final squad that were a missed penalty kick away from the semi-finals in 2010.