Runarsson not first Icelander to play for Arsenal – here is how his compatriots fared

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Runarsson not first Icelander to play for Arsenal – here is how his compatriots fared

Alex Runar Runarsson joined Arsenal on Monday. He is expected to be a backup to Bernd Leno and was brought in from Dijon for just €1m.

He comes from Iceland, one of the smallest nations in Europe, which, however, is known for its recent football success – many remember their Euro 2016 victory against England.

By the way, Runarsson was there, watching the game unfold from the bench.

So far, only 17 Icelandic players have featured in a Premier League game since the tournament's inception back in 1992. Eidur Gudjohnsen and Gylfi Sigurdsson are perhaps the most famous of them. None of these 17 men have played for Arsenal.

Yet 2 Icelanders have appeared for the Gunners, albeit not in the EPL.

Olafur Ingi Skulason played in a League Cup game clash vs Wolves (5-1 win) back in 2003, coming on as a second-half sub. He was signed as a talented prospect but was released by the club in 2005 and is currently back in his native Iceland after spells in Sweden, Belgium and Turkey.

Sigurdur Johnsson moved to Arsenal in 1989 from Sheffield Wednesday for a hefty fee of £475,000. He failed to establish himself as a regular in George Graham's side due to injuries. The midfielder made just 10 appearances before leaving the Gunners in 1991.

He scored his only goal for Arsenal in the First Division game against QPR. He played just 2 games in the title-winning 1990-91 campaign and therefore did not qualify for the champions' medal.

As you can see, Runarsson has some ice to break when it comes to his countrymen's success at the north London side. Hopefully, he'll do fine and establish himself as a safe and reliable option when Leno needs a rest – and there are whispers the Arsenal new boy will get his first start in the Carabao Cup against Leicester this week.

AuthorAleksei BlokhinSourceTribuna.com
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