Sylvian Wiltord. Arsenal signed him from Bordeaux in the summer of 2000 for what was then a club record fee of £13 million.
Wiltord popped up with quite a few goals in his four year stay, but none more important than his goal at Old Trafford to win Arsenal the title in 2002. He was integral in the F.A Cup run that year as well as Arsenal won the double, and he was also a member of “the Invincibles” two years later although he didn’t feature as prominently that campaign. Many gooners will remember him fondly as a player who played with his heart on his sleeve. He was never the most talented of players considering his illustrious teammates, but he sure had a nose for goals and always knew where to turn up to score. He finished with 49 goals during his time at the club. Click below to watch Wiltord score the goal that won us the title at Old Trafford.
“It’s Freddie Ljungberg again, pushed out by Barthez, Wiltoooooord!!” Electric.
Arsenal reject! Arsenal reject!
Not this time. Most men who end up on the “whatever happened to” series are usually players who get rejected after a rather torrid and uneventful career at Arsenal. That wasn’t the case with Wiltord, and although his career did undergo a bit of a nomadic path after leaving North London, it is hard to call a man who won both the Premier league and F.A cup twice and Community Shield once, a reject.
Upon his exit from Highbury, he returned his native France with Lyon in 2004, before joining former club Rennes in 2007. From there he made the switch to Marseille and Metz before retiring in 2010. He would make a brief return from retirement, signing for Nantes in July 2011 before officially retiring once more at the end of the 2011/2012 season.
We will always remember Wiltord. For his goals, for his passion, for his commitment.