One of the unsung heroes of the Invincibles side, Lauren won five major trophies in seven seasons with the Club.

He was signed in the summer of 2000 and started off on the right of midfield - scoring on his home debut against Liverpool. But he soon stepped into the void left by Lee Dixon's retirement and was a regular at right back by the time Arsenal won the Double in 2002.

Lauren played a significant part in the title run-in that year, rolling in a nerveless penalty to seal a 2-1 win over Tottenham at Highbury. And he was fast becoming Arsenal's Mr Reliable, marrying excellent technique and distribution with his appetite for a tackle and a battle.

The Cameroon star's versatility was also valuable. He filled in at left back and all across the midfield during his time at Highbury and showed the same calm assurance in every position.

Lauren was a fixture in the 2003/04 title-winning team which completed an unbeaten Premier League campaign and he scored with another nonchalant spot-kick when Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties at the 2005 FA Cup Final.

Injuries hampered Lauren towards the end of his Arsenal career and he underwent knee surgery in January 2006, sitting out the rest of that year.

In his absence Emmanuel Eboue shone at right back as Arsenal reached the Champions League Final and it seemed that Lauren's days were numbered.

He was allowed to leave in January 2007 and spent two years at Portsmouth before heading to Cordoba in Spain. It took this likeable man full circle - Lauren was playing for Mallorca in La Liga when he first caught Arsenal's eye at the start of the century.


"I was an working as an Arsenal steward in the opening year of Emirates Stadium and this was on the day we beat Sheffield United at home, getting our first home league win there. I was asked to work in the lift and five minutes before the end of the game, Lauren and a friend walked in. Out of excitement I stopped the lift and literally dragged Lauren out and shouted out to all my friends and colleagues to come and meet him. We all told him what a legend we thought he was. I don't mind lifts too much anymore!"
Savvas Charalambous, Highams Park

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