Matthew Upson

Matthew Upson was hot property when Arsenal made their move to sign the highly-rated centre back in May 1997.

The defender had only made one appearance for Luton but Arsene Wenger had seen enough to secure the then 18-year-old's services.

On the whole, Upson's first-team opportunities at Highbury were limited by the presence of experienced, proven defenders like Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Martin Keown.

An anterior cruciate ligament injury in 1999 put Upson out for a year and further hampered the youngster's quest for first-team football.

But learning from the best helped put the central defender on the right track.

Loan spells at Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and Reading followed but just 59 appearances in six years meant Upson's future lay elsewhere.

Like many before and after him, however, Upson did just fine thanks to his grounding at Arsenal.

A move to Birmingham City in 2003 proved a springboard for success in the Premier League, and an international call-up soon followed under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Upson joined West Ham in 2007 before making the move to Stoke City in summer 2011. While at Upton Park he played his part in England's 2010 World Cup in South Africa, scoring in the 4-1 quarter-final defeat to Germany.

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