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36 players you never knew were Arsenal fans – and most of them have never played for the Gunners

Successful teams always scoop up a legion of young fans, and some of those who followed Arsenal during the Arsene Wenger years are now approaching their prime as professional footballers.

And the stylish way in which Wenger’s Gunners played the game was always bound to attract as many footballing fans as those in the stands, too.

With that in mind, we’ve trawled the Football Manager 2020 database to pick out the highest-valued players identified as Arsenal supporters, and it makes for an incredible list.

Indeed, there are so many Arsenal fans in world football that we’ve had to impose a cut-off, meaning only players valued at £5million or more are included. So let’s take a look, going from the most valuable to the least…

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Wilfried Zaha

The Crystal Palace star has been linked with a move to north London on more than one occasion. There was plenty of talk last summer before the Gunners moved for Nicolas Pepe after having a bid for Zaha knocked back.

“Supporting them and having them wanting you at the same time leaves you thinking, ‘This is amazing’,” Zaha said during an interview on Rio Ferdinand’s YouTube channel. “But things never worked out so you just have to move on. I was thinking this may happen and my family was saying, ‘Wow, it’s Arsenal’, but yeah it just didn’t work out.”

Antonio Rudiger

Despite hailing from Germany, Rudiger has long been an Arsenal fan, saying: “I have been following Arsenal since the days of Henry and Bergkamp.”

Unfortunately for the Gunners, when the time came for the centre-back to leave Roma for the Premier League, Chelsea was his destination.

Rudiger actually made his Blues debut against Arsenal in the 2017 Community Shield, and then scored an own goal when the two teams met again in the EFL Cup semi-finals in January 2018.

Corentin Tolisso

The France midfielder had…