If only for longevity, Lee Dixon warrants a place among the club's elite. The Arsenal fans agree and have voted him No 21 on the list of Gunners' Greatest Players.
Dixon's tenure in north London lasted a hugely impressive 15 years, encapsulating 619 appearances - leaving him fourth in the all-time list - until his retirement in 2002. Throughout that time Dixon was consistency personified.
From arguably the hardest position on the field to make a noteworthy impact, the right-back excelled in both his primary duty of defending, and further upfield.
His sharpness of thought meant Dixon was rarely found wanting in a positional sense and, unlike his grittier team-mates, Messrs Thomas and Jensen, the defender had a knack of jockeying forwards into unfavourable positions before swiping the ball away.
On the front foot he was unerringly precise with deliveries into the box and his instinct for getting forward - he had been a winger in his early career with Burnley - often proved telling in Arsenal attacks. On the occasion a cross was cleared back to him, Dixon boasted a fine first touch with either foot which afforded him the time to recycle the ball and keep the threat alive.
Dixon had another string to his bow - goals. He was a crisp striker of the ball, scoring 28 times during his Highbury career thanks to some spectacular long-range efforts and a calmness from the penalty spot. Dixon's goals record bears comparison with most defenders in the club's history.
The attacking nature of his game continued to serve Dixon well when Arsène Wenger took the reins in 1996. The incoming Frenchman's accent on forward thinking full-backs invigorated the now aging Arsenal No 2. Accordingly, after playing a key role in the club's Double success in 1998, the international set-up beckoned once again; Dixon eventually finished with 22 England caps.
As the new millennium approached, there was no hiding the fact that Lee was approaching the twilight of his career. But with typical resoluteness he fought back the challenge of first Oleg Luzhny then Lauren before a knee injury threatened his career. Dixon battled back and when an injury crisis enveloped the squad he stepped into the breach auspiciously, helping the side to the summit of the English league once again.
It was a fitting end to his spell with Arsenal.
This list of 50 Gunners Greatest Players was determined by tens of thousands of Arsenal fans from across the world. The vote took place on the club’s official website in 2008. To help prevent multiple voting by a single person, only registered members of Arsenal.com could take part.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.