David Platt

David Platt arrived at Highbury with the pedigree to match most footballers of his time.

Signed by Bruce Rioch in the summer of 1995, Platt had earned himself a reputation for goals during spells in England and Italy - not to mention his international credentials.

As England captain, Platt had led England at the 1992 European Championships and retained the armband once more in the Three Lions' 1994 World Cup qualifying bid.

Prior to that, Platt had scored the decisive winner as an extra-time substitute against Belgium in the knockout stages of the 1990 World Cup.

It had been quite a journey for the Oldham-born midfielder.

Platt began life at Crewe Alexandra in the Fourth Division. His form under Dario Gradi soon earned him a move to Aston Villa, where he achieved promotion back to the First Divison at the first time of asking.

From there on the only way was up. In July 1991, Serie A came calling and Platt joined Bari. A year later the midfielder was signed by Juventus, before finally linking up with Sampdoria.

His time with the Genoese outfit was a happy one, winning the 1994 Coppa Italia under the stewardship of former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson before England came calling once more.

That English club was Arsenal. In his first season at Highbury, Platt helped Arsenal to a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League to seal qualification for the UEFA Cup.

The midfielder was troubled by injuries in his first two seasons, however, and the arrival of Arsene Wenger eventually saw first-team opportunities limited as Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit joined the Club.

Platt found himself used mainly as a substitute but did taste success in north London in the Double-winning season of 1997/98. His crucial late header against Manchester United proved a vital contribution and endeared himself to the Highbury faithful.

That was to be Platt's final season with the Club before a life in coaching beckoned. Spells with Sampdoria and Nottingham Forest followed, before posts with England Under-21s and Manchester City.

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