Whatever happened to #18… Bendtner, Mavididi, Ormonde-Ottewill, Djourou, Taylor


Signed scholarship: 2004. Arsenal apps: 157 (45 goals). Denmark international. Subsequent career: Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Rosenborg, Copenhagen, Tarnby FF.

Signed from Copenhagen in 2004, Bendtner made a huge impact for Arsenal at youth level, striking up an impressive partnership with Arturo Lupoli. The tall Danish striker then caught the eye on loan at Birmingham City in the Championship before returning to Arsenal, where he broke into the first-team squad. The initial signs were encouraging, as he scored a memorable goal against Tottenham Hotspur shortly after coming on as a substitute, but Bendtner found it difficult to establish himself as Arsenal’s first-choice striker. Loans to Sunderland and Juventus followed before a permanent departure in 2014 as he joined Wolfsburg. It was at Rosenborg that Bendtner made the biggest impact after leaving Arsenal, scoring 35 goals in 86 games. Bendtner, who scored 30 times for Denmark, announced his retirement yesterday having most recently played for Tarnby FF’s ‘old boys’ team in the Danish fourth tier.


Signed scholarship: 2014. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Juventus, Dijon (loan), Montpellier.

Another striker who was a standout performer for Arsenal U18s, Mavididi made the bench for first-team in the League Cup but didn’t make a senior appearance for the Gunners. An injury suffered on loan at Charlton Athletic meant that he couldn’t really push on as had been expected. After much speculation, he left for Juventus in 2018 and mainly played for their U23 team, although he did make an appearance in Serie A against SPAL. The Hale End product was then loaned out to Dijon and earned a permanent switch to Montpellier, for whom he scored nine goals in 35 league games this season.


Signed scholarship: 2012. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Swindon Town, Helmond Sport, Dordrecht, Excelsior (loan), Excelsior. 

A left-back who featured in the FA Youth Cup and trained with the first-team, Ormonde-Ottewill signed a professional contract but was released in 2015. The erstwhile England youth international signed for Swindon Town and featured heavily during two seasons in League One prior to heading to Holland with Helmond Sport. Ormonde-Ottewill has remained in the Dutch second division ever since and is now at Excelsior, who he joined permanently following a successful loan spell.

Signed scholarship: 2003. Arsenal apps: 144 (1 goal). Switzerland international. Subsequent career: Hamburg, Antalyaspor, SPAL, Sion, Neuchatel Xamax, Nordsjaelland.

Like Bendtner, Djourou arrived at Arsenal as a youngster and went on to make over 100 first-team appearances without truly establishing himself as a reliable long-term option. The centre-back was a member of the first-team squad for many years before eventually joining Hamburg in 2014. After several seasons in the Bundesliga Djourou headed to Turkey with Antalyaspor and also played in Italy for SPAL. A former Switzerland international with 76 caps, he is now playing for Nordsjaelland in Denmark.


Signed scholarship: 1997. Arsenal apps: 30. Subsequent career: Aston Villa, Cardiff City (loan), Manchester City, Reading, Yeovil Town (loan), Leeds United, Southampton. Retired.

A goalkeeper who received a league winner’s medal when Arsenal were crowned champions in 2002, Taylor made just 95 appearances during his entire career. Much of his time at Arsenal was spent out on loan before he headed to Aston Villa, where he wasn’t able to become first choice. Taylor spent three years at Manchester City making just one appearance in the process, and he finished playing in 2018 having not played for three seasons. Now aged 40, there is certainly a feeling that Taylor was capable of making many more appearances overall.


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