Gilles Grimandi had played under Arsene Wenger for AS Monaco during the early 1990s and joined up with his former boss at Highbury in 1997.
The Frenchman’s versatility proved invaluable for the Gunners during his first season with Gilles turning out at right-back, centre-back and central midfield as Arsenal scooped the League and Cup double.
|Arsenal Career||1997 - 2002|
|Appearances||170 (128 starts, 42 as a sub)|
Injuries to Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira allowed Gilles to prove his worth as a more-than-handy squad player. Competitive in the tackle and air while composed on the ball, the Frenchman was the epitome of an all-rounder.
His unquestionable professionalism saw him remain in and around the squad for the following four seasons, scoring a further five goals from various positions in the side.
In 2001/02, his final season at Arsenal, Gilles appeared 40 times as the Gunners scooped the second double of Wenger’s reign.
During the summer the likeable Frenchman, now aged 32, left the Club, eventually joining up with Arsenal’s affiliate club Colorado Rapids in May 2003. But he never managed a competitive appearance.
Gilles returned to north London in July 2006 for Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial which also officially opened Emirates Stadium.His cult status would be secured during the match when he brought down Tottenham midfielder Edgar Davids with the Dutchman seemingly certain to score.
Gilles is still affiliated with the Club, working as a scout in France.
WHAT THE FANS SAID:
Such an underrated player, he was a very hard worker and a real unsung hero. I loved the 'Grimster' at Arsenal. Of course we'll never forget the classic moment with Edgar Davids at Bergkamp's testimonial where he took him out to prevent the ex-Spurs player scoring at the Emirates.
Tom Humphrey, Haslemere