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10 ways Arsenal and Monaco are linked by more than just Wenger

| 24.02.2015

The theory behind the six degrees of separation dictates that everyone and everything in the world can be linked by six or fewer connections. 

But when it comes to finding crossover between Arsenal and Champions League opponents Monaco it’s a far less laborious process.

For starters, there is the presence of Arsene Wenger in the Emirates dugout – Arsenal manager for nearly 20 years and previously in charge of the Principality club from 1987 through to 1994.

Wenger won Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France during his time in charge of Monaco but he’s not the only current or former Gunner to have spent time at the club with the links between the two teams going even beyond simply playing staff.

10. Thierry Henry

Arsenal’s record Premier League goalscorer started his career at Monaco under Wenger. He won Ligue 1 with the Principality club in 1997, reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup that same year and progressed to the last four of the Champions League with Monaco in the following campaign.

9. Gilles Grimandi

Another former Wenger charge at Monaco, Grimandi moved to Arsenal in 1997 and made over 100 appearances for the Gunners. Capable of playing as a midfielder, right wingback or centre back, the Frenchman won the double with Arsenal in his first (1997-98) and last (2001-02) seasons at the club.

8. Emmanuel Petit

Brought to Arsenal from Monaco in 1997, where he helped Arsenal claim the double as a defensive midfielder. He won the Coupe de la Ligue with Wenger and later Ligue 1 with Henry during his time at the Principality club and was the first of four Wenger signings to later play for Chelsea.

7. Emmanuel Adebayor

Dubbed ‘Baby Kanu’ prior to his Arsenal move in January 2006, Wenger paid £3m for the striker who had scored 26 goals in 115 appearances for Monaco and was an unused sub in the 2004 Champions League final. He moved to Manchester City in July 2009 for £25m after 62 goals in 142 games.

6. Sebastian Squillaci

Among Arsenal’s recent transfer flops, Squillaci played 23 top-flight games in a three-year stay at the Emirates but had a fine reputation at Monaco where he won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2003 and reached the final of the Champions League in 2004, scoring against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.

5. Park Chu-Young

The South Korea international had looked set to move to Lille in August 2011, following Monaco’s relegation from Ligue 1, but a last-gasp offer from Arsenal saw the striker head to the Premier League. He made one top-flight appearance and as given a free transfer in the summer of 2014.

4. Yaya Toure

Back in the days when Yaya Toure was to Kolo what Max Vieri is to Christian, the Ivorian midfielder came close to joining his brother at Arsenal only to flop in a trial against Barnet. Work permit issues also held up the move with Toure opting to move to Ukraine and later Monaco via Greece.

3. Geoffrey Kondogbia

Wenger had been a keen admirer of the defensive midfielder as a youth at Lens so after he struggled to adapt to life Spain with Sevilla the Arsenal manager saw an opportunity. The only problem was that so did newly-rich Monaco, who gazumped the Gunners, signing the 22-year-old for £17.6m.

2. Anthony Martial

Another youngster currently impressing with Monaco, the 18-year-old’s pace and finishing abilities have seen some supporters dub him the “new Henry”. Little wonder then that the attacker, who can also operate on the wing, has been linked with a move to Arsenal among others.

1. Gael Givet

A former Monaco favourite with some 180 appearances to his name, Givet also spent time at Blackburn. Yet Arsenal fans may remember him best for the red card he picked up against the Gunners in a February 2012 clash.

Dismissed just before half-time, Rovers would go on to lose 7-1 to Arsenal – one goal short of a Gunners Premier League record.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.