Liam Brady is Arsenal's Head of Youth Development, he's 55 years of age, and he's still a pretty decent player. Back in his heyday, he was dynamite.

When Jack Wilshere was likened to the Irishman last season, a few eyebrows were raised among the older generations of Arsenal supporters. Not because Jack isn't a wonderful talent - he is - but because Brady was so special for so long.

He is very important to us because he is in charge of the youth set-up here. You know how important that is at Arsenal Football Club so it is vital to keep our structure going.

Arsène Wenger

The Club's fans have seen some prized assets leave down the years but arguably none of those losses were mourned as much as Brady's. Unlike, say, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, the Irishman was at the peak of his powers when he swapped north London for Italy in the summer of 1980.

Put simply, Brady was Arsenal back then. He made 307 appearances, inspired the Gunners to three consecutive FA Cup Finals, was man of the match in the 1979 Wembley win over Manchester United and generally elevated Terry Neill's team from an above-average top-flight side to a serious force in English football.

Brady was the cleverest playmaker of his generation, a man blessed with copious amounts of skill as well as balance, strength, a powerful shot and the ability to glide past opponents. He rarely picked the wrong pass and, for all his brains, he never shirked a challenge. Brady could be spiky as well as spectacular.

Emmanuel Petit was Vieira's regular midfield partner and he received plenty of votes in our poll but the prospect of Vieira and Brady pairing up in an Arsenal Dream Team is a mouthwatering one.

To get the very best out of them you might need a more defensively-minded player in behind but, in our 4-4-2 formation, one would have to stay and cover while the other surged forward.

Together, Brady and Vieira would give our all-time XI's engine room everything it needed. They'd combine force with flair, graft with craft, and every now and then you'd get a goal to savour too.

NO 8 LIAM BRADY
Centre midfield
Appearances: 307
Goals: 59
Selected in 31 per cent of teams

Liam Brady is my role model. He works with the youth players now and he has always been there in my career. He has helped me a lot and people have said I am a similar player to him so he is probably my role model.

Jack Wilshere
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 30 Jun 2011