đź”´Where are they? The last Arsenal team to play in the Champions League

Arsenal made it to the top four over the weekend following their win against Watford and Manchester United’s loss to Man City.

There has been a sense of optimism in the team under manager Mikel Arteta with many of their fans believing that they will make it to the Champions League after a four-year hiatus.

The north London club has not played in the competition since March 2017 when they were knocked out of the round-of-16 by Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich with an embarrassing 10-2 loss on aggregate.

Since then, Arsenal has played in the Europa League three times and failed to qualify for Europe twice, finishing outside the top six in the last two seasons.

And where are the players who featured for the team on their last day in the competition?

Ospina left Arsenal for Napoli in 2019 after it became clear that he was to be an understudy to Bernd Leno. He has been their undisputed first choice and currently is on the side that is challenging for the Serie A title as they are just three points off the top spot.

After six years of dedicated service at the Emirates, Monreal was to move to Laliga side Real Sociedad in 2019 where he stays up to date.

The Frenchman made it more difficult for his side when he was red-carded in the tie. Currently, without a club, he was to force a move back to his native home with Bordeaux in 2019 but trouble followed him at his new home, and was stripped of the captain’s armband following the team’s poor outing.

Mustafi was another player whose performances came under scrutiny in his last years at the club. Reduced to just a squad player, the World Cup winner moved to Schalke early last year but following their relegation from the Bundesliga, he was to return to Spain where he is currently in the books of Levante.

Bellerin is just one of the two players in this team that is still in the books of Arsenal. The Spaniard who was a mainstay at right-back was just 21 when the drubbing happened and his urge to return home saw him join Real Betis last summer on a loan deal. There is a feeling he wants the move to be turned into a permanent one next season.

It was Xhaka’s first season at the club when they last participated in the Champions League and he is the other player from that squad that is still with the North London side. He has had his fair share of challenges with the club fans and was linked with a move to AS Roma last summer after beings tripped off of the captaincy.

He has since established himself as an important member of the squad with his driving force in midfield something that has been admired by the club’s faithful.

Chamberlain is one of the players who has thrived since leaving Arsenal in 2017. While he has struggled with injuries at Anfield, he has been part of the Reds side who have won almost everything in the past three years; the Champions League trophy being part of his collection.

Things have not gone as planned for Ramsey since leaving the Emirates in 2019 for Juventus. He found games hard to come by and injuries haven’t done him any favors. He is currently on loan at Scottish side Rangers FC as he bids to be fit for Wales in their coming competitions.

Sanchez left Arsenal for Man United in one of the most controversial transfers. With huge expectations at Old Trafford, he failed to hit the ground running and was shipped to Inter Milan a year later on loan before the deal was made permanent in 2020.

Walcott was the only goalscorer for the Gunners on their last day in the Champions League. He was to leave for Everton in 2018 on a loan deal and made it a permanent one a season later. He is currently in the books boyhood club Southampton where he has struggled with injuries.

Giroud arrived at Arsenal in 2012 from Montpellier where he had helped them to the Ligue 1 title. He scored vital goals for the team but lack of playing time in his later years at the Emirates saw him leave for league rivals Chelsea in January 2018. AC Milan was to snap him in 2021 where he is currently leading their title charge in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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