Widely regarded as a leading prospect when rising through the ranks, Paolo Vernazza's Arsenal career never quite scaled the heights.
The Islington-born midfielder's performances at reserve level had earned him a place in England's FIFA World Youth Championships in 1999 alongside the likes of Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch, Andy Johnson and Matthew Etherington.
|Arsenal Career||1996 - 2000|
|Appearances||12 (7 starts, 5 as a sub)|
Vernazza did eventually go on to make seven starts for his boyhood club, featuring in the Premier League as well as Europe under Arsene Wenger.
He returned from loan spells with Ipswich and Portsmouth to score his first Premier League goal, coming off the bench to find the target against Coventry in September 2000 at Highbury. He was not the only man opening his Arsenal account that day, with Sylvain Wiltord also getting on the scoresheet for the first time.
But despite all of his promise, Vernazza struggled to make his breakthrough into the first team and eventually departed on a permanent deal to Watford.
He later spent time with Rotherham and Barnet, before dropping out of the Football League to represent Weymouth and Grays Athletic.