Arsenal’s last Champions League XI: where are they now as Mikel Arteta leads Gunners back to Europe
Arsenal are competing in the Champions League for the first time since 2017
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Arsenal fans are gearing up for their first Champions League campaign in the post Arsene Wenger era and they have been paired with Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven and RC Lens.
The Gunners were once everpresents in the Champions League and they qualified for the tournament in 17 consecutive seasons during Wenger’s time in the dugout.
That all came to an end in 2017 and Arsenal have had a long wait to return to Europe’s elite competition.
However, Arsenal are once again viewed as one of the most ambitious teams in world football and Arteta’s is blessed with a young core of talented players including William Saliba, Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
But what happened to the last Arsenal team that competed in the Champions League and where are they now?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Arsenal’s last Champions League XI: where are they now?
Arsenal enjoyed a successful group stage campaign in their last Champions League outing and they finished top of a group which featured Unai Emery’s PSG, Basel and Ludogorets Razgrad.
But their dreams of Champions League success ended in the round of 16 for the seventh consecutive season, as they suffered back to back defeats to Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich.
The most recent of those defeats was a crushing 5-1 loss at the Emirates Stadium on 7 March 2017 and the score ultimately finished 10-2 to Bayern over two legs.
Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal all got their names on the scoresheets for the visitors, while Theo Walcott opened the scoring in the first half.
Here is the full Arsenal team that played that day:
Goalkeeper: David Ospina
David Ospina was Arsenal’s back up goalkeeper in the Premier League behind Peter Cech, but the Colombian was selected for all eight of his team’s Champions League games.
Ospina played for Arsenal until 2019, but spent the last year of his Gunners career on loan at Serie A side Napoli.
That deal was made permanent that summer and he spent three years in Italy before joining Saudi outfit Al Nassr in 2022.
Right back: Hector Bellerin
Spanish defender Hector Bellerin was regarded as one of the best young full backs in the Premier League at the time and he was known for his explosive pace and ability to bomb forward.
Bellerin was a regular starter under Arsene Wenger, but he fell down the pecking order under Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta.
He was loaned out to Real Betis in 2021 and signed for Barcelona on a free transfer a year later.
Bellerin’s stay at the Nou Camp was short lived and after a six month spell at Sporting CP in 2023 he now finds himself back at Real Betis in La Liga.
Centre back: Laurent Koscielny
Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny had a night to forget as he was sent off against Bayern Munich in his final ever Champions League game.
Koscielny was one of the club’s main defenders for a number of years, but he gradually slipped out of the first team due to injury problems.
The Frenchman refused to take part in the club’s pre-season tour in the summer of 2019 and left to join French side Bordeaux where he would retire three years later.
Centre back: Shkodran Mustafi
Shkodran Mustafi arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2016 for a blockbuster fee of £35m and he had already established himself as a solid operator during Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph.
This reputation diminished over his five year stay at Arsenal and he was rarely selected in the team after Mikel Arteta’s arrival as manager.
Mustafi left Arsenal in January 2021 to join Schalke on a free transfer but was unable to prevent them from relegation.
The German joined Levante on a free transfer in the summer but once again tasted relegation in 2022.
The 31-year-old was released a year later and he is currently without a club.
Left back: Nacho Monreal
Nacho Monreal was a dependable left back option during his six year stay at Arsenal and he made a total of 251 first team appearances in all competitions.
Monreal was a peripheral figure in his final few months in North London and he left the club to join Real Sociedad in January 2020.
The left back emerged as a first team regular in San Sebastian and helped the club to the 2021 Copa del Rey title. He was forced to retire a year later due to injury.
Centre midfield: Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka was the last surviving member of Arsenal’s Champions League XI until his departure this summer.
The Switzerland international was close to joining Roma in 2020 after a drop in form and popularity. But he won his place back in the Arsenal team and produced some of the best form of his career for Mikel Arteta’s side in his final two seasons.
Xhaka left Arsenal this summer to join Bayer Leverkusen for a fee of around £21m.
Centre midfield: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Arsenal as a highly rated teenager from Southampton.
In his early years at the Emirates he showed great signs of promise but Wenger often struggled to nail down his best position.
He was sold to Liverpool in 2017 for a fee of £35m and he was initially a crucial player for Jurgen Klopp’s side as they won the Premier League title.
The 35 time England international struggled with fitness during his final three years at Anfield and he joined Turkish side Besiktas on a free transfer in the summer.
Centre midfield: Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey arrived at Arsenal as a teenage sensation and he enjoyed an excellent 11-year career in North London which saw him lift three FA Cup titles.
Ramsey left Arsenal in 2019 to join Juventus on a free transfer. He struggled with injuries at the Old Lady and was unable to recapture his previous form.
The midfielder has since enjoyed brief spells at Rangers and Nice and he is now back at his former club Cardiff City in the Championship.
Right winger: Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott is Arsenal’s most recent Champions League goalscorer and he opened the scoring against Bayern Munich to give fans a brief glimmer of hope.
Walcott was blessed with excellent pace and was a key threat for Arsene Wenger’s side in attack for a number of years as they lifted three FA Cups.
His 12-year stay at the Emirates came to an end in January 2018 when he joined Everton.
Walcott returned to former club Southampton on a free transfer in 2021 and announced his retirement at the end of last season as the club were relegated to the Championship.
The former England forward has since appeared as a pundit for Sky Sports.
Striker: Oliver Giroud
Oliver Giroud was a crucial member of Arsenal’s team for six years before his departure to Chelsea in 2018.
The Frenchman haunted his former club with a goal in the final of the 2019 Europa League as Chelsea ran out 4-1 winners. Two years later he also got his hands on the Champions League with Chelsea.
The Frenchman is now his country’s all time-leading goalscorer and he is currently leading the line for Italian giants AC Milan.
Left winger: Alexis Sanchez
At the peak of his powers Alexis Sanchez was regarded as one of the best wingers in world football and the Chilean scored an incredible 24 league goals during the 2016/17 campaign.
Sanchez joined rivals Man Utd in January 2018 for a fee of around £14m with Henrikh Mkhitarian also moving the other way.
Sanchez never hit the same heights at Old Trafford and he joined Inter Milan on a free transfer three years later.
The Chile international helped the Italian giants to a league title in 2021 and left for Marseille the following summer.
Sanchez showed flickers of his old form in France and scored 14 league goals last year, before once again joining Inter Milan.