Whatever happened to…#2 Evina, Efrem, Cole, Barazite, Gordon

Whatever happened to…



Signed scholarship: Summer 2008. First-team appearances 0. Subsequent career: Oldham Athletic, Charlton Athletic.

An attack-minded left-back who was a fringe member of the FA Youth Cup-winning squad of 2008/09, Evina captained Arsenal in that competition the following season but, despite training with the first-team on a couple of occasions, never came close to breaking into Arsene Wenger’s plans. After a successful loan spell with Oldham Athletic, he signed a permanent deal with Paul Dickov’s side, but moved back to London with Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2011 and is nearing 50 senior appearances.


Signed scholarship: Summer 2005. First-team appearances 0. Subsequent career: Rangers, Dundee (loan), AC Omonia. Cyprus caps: 7.

An exquisite passer of the ball who joined Arsenal from his homeland as a schoolboy in 2004, Efrem demonstrated flashes of brilliance during his short time in North London, but moved to Rangers in 2007 in a quest for first-team action. He finally made his senior debut whilst on loan at Dundee from Rangers in 2009, scoring twice in eight appearances for his temporary club, but he moved back to his homeland that summer, joining AC Omonia, where he has become a regular, winning the Cypriot League and Cup in the process. He has also gained senior international recognition, winning seven caps for Cyprus.


Signed scholarship: Summer 1998. First-team appearances 228 (9 goals). Subsequent career: Chelsea. England caps: 99.

Despite his acrimonious departure away from the club in 2006, Cole remains the club’s most successful youth product since the Academy’s reformation in 1998. Having broken into the first-team as an 18-year-old in late 1999, he eventually established himself as first-choice left-back following an injury to Sylvinho, and went on to play a key part in the double-winning success of 2002, as well as excelling in the Invincibles campaign two years later, whilst also scoring a decisive late goal against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League at Highbury. Cole remains reviled by Arsenal supporters, and has now made more appearances for Chelsea than he did for the Gunners, finally tasting Champions League success last season. His next appearance for England will see him bring up a century of caps.


Signed scholarship: Summer 2006. First-team appearances 3. Subsequent career: Austria Vienna, Monaco.

Skilful Dutch attacker Barazite looked set for a bright future after arriving at Arsenal from Holland in 2006, and he caught the eye during his first season at the club, most notably scoring an extra-time winner in the FA Youth Cup against Wycombe Wanderers. First-team recognition followed during the next campaign, as he featured twice in the Carling Cup, but unfortunately dislocated his shoulder away to Blackburn Rovers, before spending the following campaign on loan at Derby County. He briefly flirted with a place in the first-team squad as he maintained his record of scoring against Barnet in pre-season, but sought a move elsewhere following an indifferent loan spell with Vitesse. He left permanently in January 2011 for Austria Vienna, for whom he was prolific in the Europa League, and is now with Monaco in France. The versatile youngster has featured for Holland up to U21 level, for which he is still eligible.


Signed scholarship: Summer 2001. First-team appearances 0. Subsequent career: Wimbledon, Swindon Town, Havant & Waterlooville, Aldershot Town, Crawley Town, Sutton United, AFC Wimbledon, Harrow Borough, Hemel Hempstead, Northwood, Croydon Athletic, Mertsham, Lincoln City, Kingstonian.

A central-midfielder possessing a blend of silk and skill, Gordon failed to make the grade at Arsenal and has since spent his career traipsing around the lower regions of the English footballing pyramid. After leaving Highbury, he initially spent time with Wimbledon, featuring on 19 occasions in what is now the Championship, but then swiftly dropped down the leagues and has since failed to settle at any club for a prolonged period of time. Now 28, he has played for 14 different clubs in under 10 years, and is currently with Kingstonian in the Isthmian League Premier Division.



  1. Micheal Gordon went to my primary school and was the best player by miles and steps ahead of any of us. It was a shame he never made it anywhere

  2. On a side note, it sounds like Joel Campbell played pretty well again for Betis tonight against Athletic Bilbao. I still think that if we can get a work permit for him in the near future, that he COULD be a great player for us. He’s different to Walcott in that he can really play and has an eye for a pass from what I saw of him last season and the year before. I think he could even play through the middle at some point, like Henry did. He’s learning how to be consistent at the top level, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually makes it here, or somewhere else, if we can’t get a work permit for him.

    1. Can we get a work permit for Two players in same year ?
      Joel Campbell and Wellingtion Silva i mean.

      If It happens, would be fun to watch the quartet of Silva – Ryo – Joel – Afobe compete as strikers and wingers.
      Hopefully they will be more useful to Arsenal than Arshavin-Chamakh-Gervinho.

      1. Joel Campbell should get his work permit in the summer automatically, he’s been a regular for Costa Rica for some time and should qualify through playing 75% of international games over the last 2 years. Wellington Silva hasn’t got much of a chance as far as I can tell, he would need a special talent visa and his appearance record for a Spanish second division side doesn’t suggest a special talent, however impressive he is on the pitch when he comes off the bench.

        I really like Campbell, I’ve watched a couple of the more recent Betis games and he’s looking good. He looks stronger and more confident than what I saw of him at Lorient and more at home playing on the flank than up front. Spanish football probably suits him better than French football as well. He’s asked to put in a shift at Betis and he works hard for the team. When he gets the ball he’s always wanting to turn and run at defenders, and he has the skill, pace and strength to beat them a lot of the time. I think he can compete in the Arsenal squad, on current form me he would be ahead of Arshavin and Gervinho for me.

  3. i can’t see galindo or wellington silva making it with us. campbell is looking good though. i hope campbell, miyaichi and afobe can come and be understudies to our first teamers soon. nervous times.

    good work jeorge.

  4. I know this is waaaaaaaaaaay off topic, but I was very pleased with Ramsey’s performance in the “Arteta role” tonight!!! I thought he was being groomed for that position last season in the second match against Chelsea, when he ran the show in the second half, and I might just be on to something!!! If he doesn’t quite have the legs or technique that he used to have before his injury, this might be his best position. His finishing is rather poor as well, but he played a fantastic match in my opinion. He played it simple yet kept us moving forward. I’m so happy for him after all the stick from the “fans” he has been getting. I think he’ll be a key player for us this season, now that we have some back-up for Arteta if he gets injured again. Way to go Aaron!!!

  5. It was an excellent match from Ramsey although the conditions were right for him as he didn’t have to do too much defending. West Ham sat deep and then were direct so Aaron wasn’t having to cope with lots of runs in and around his area of the pitch in front of the back four. And when we had the ball he was often the spare man, without much pressure being placed on him he had time to direct the play to the high standard he did. It was kind of the perfect introduction for him to the holding role.

    I also think he has a future in a deep position. He’s still got wonderful stamina and short passing technique, but the injury seems to have taken away some of his agility on the ball and burst of pace, that ‘burst’ that Wenger has spoken about Wilshere gaining back. Without it Jack would be half the player he is, he would lose the ability to drive forward and through opposition. If Ramsey doesn’t get that back then a box-to-box role isn’t as viable as before, and playing at no.10 is also made more difficult if he’s not agile enough to turn and speed away from markers the way Jack, Santi, Rosicky, etc are able. Physically and technically he is very similar to Arteta, what he doesn’t have yet is Arteta’s experience and the defensive intelligence that comes with it.

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