Igors Stepanovs

Igors Stepanovs was initially signed as an understudy to Tony Adams and company.The centre back arrived at Highbury in 2000 after making his name at Skonto Riga in his home country of Latvia and earning international honours.Stepanovs began well and scored his one and only Arsenal goal on his debut - a League Cup win over Ipswich in November 2000. But he found first-team opportunities limited behind the likes of Adams and Martin Keown.The defender was occasionally called upon but featured little after Arsenal's 6-1 defeat to title rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in February 2001. Stepanovs appeared just once more that season and was used as a fringe player for his remaining two campaigns in north London.Stepanovs eventually departed for Belgian side Beveren in summer 2003, leaving Arsenal with a 2001/02 Premier League winner's medal and two FA Cup successes to his name (despite not featuring in the 2003 campaign). He later featured for Grasshopper (Switzerland), FK Daugava (Latvia), Esbjerg fB (Denmark) and FC Shinnik Yaroslavl (Russia) before returning to Latvia with JFK Olimps and former club Daugava. The tall centre back reached a century of caps for Latvia in 2011.

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