Receiving the number nine shirt as a footballer is perhaps the biggest compliment you can be paid. Traditionally, it's synonymous with success. Everywhere but at Arsenal, it seems. Lucas Perez, the Gunners' £17m signing from Deportivo La Coruna is the latest to take up the responsibility. But the list of its previous owners is hardly inspiring.
This is maybe where it all started to go wrong. After a magnificent introduction as an Arsenal player in the 1997/98 season, Anelka was awarded the fabled shirt following Paul Merson's departure and finished the 1998-99 season as the Gunners' top scorer. Shortly after, the prodigious young forward metamorphosed into "Le Sulk" and departed for Real Madrid.
After eight seasons at Real Madrid where he struck 114 goals in 239 appearances, Davor Suker seemed a more than able replacement for Anelka. Despite his not-too-shabby return of eight goals in 22 appearances, it never quite happened for the Croatia legend in north London and in the following summer he was off.
One of the Premier League's original cautionary tales; Jeffers inherited the shirt following his £8m arrival from Everton in 2000, ready to become the focal point of Arsene Wenger's attack for years to come. The 'fox in the box' was dogged by injury and a remarkable condition where he seemingly forgot how to play football. The rise of a certain Thierry Henry meant England's great hope was quickly forgotten about. Jeffers has played for 10 clubs since.
Jose Antonio Reyes
Another would-be saviour. While Reyes scored some crucial goals during the 2003-04 season in north London, including a brace that knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup and some important strikes in helping the Gunners' continue their unbeaten run, it didn't last.
A theme that would run throughout his career; he struggled to find any real consistency and a return to Spain soon began to feel inevitable. That led to the arrival of...
'The Beast' arrived in north London on loan from Real Madrid with Reyes moving in the other direction. At Sevilla, his nickname was fully justified, but in the Premier League, he looked cumbersome; unable to harness the power that made him such a force in Spain and looked woefully ill-fitting of an Arsenal side. Still, he'll always have those four goals against Liverpool.
Eduardo da Silva
At this point, the no9 shirt had developed its cursed reputation. Eduardo looked to have lifted that, arriving in north London in 2007 with a fearsome scoring record from his time at Dinamo Zagreb. The Brazilian-born striker began to move up the pecking order, breaking up the partnership of Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie and finding the back of the net with ease over the festive period and the start of the New Year during the 2007-08 season. Then, disaster struck. A spectacularly poor challenge from Birmingham City's Martin Taylor left the striker with a broken leg, a dislocated ankle and a career in tatters.
The next recipient of the famous shirt was by far the most inexplicable. By the summer of 2011, social media fume from Arsenal fans was beginning to catch on and the arrival of Park Chu-Young on transfer deadline day captured it brilliantly. The South Korean made just four appearances that season. The following summer, he was reassigned the no30 shirt. Over the next two years, he made one more appearance for the Gunners before he was sent on his way.
Lukas was a popular man in north London despite failing to find the form that once saw him recognised as one of Europe's brightest young forwards. Signed ahead of the 2012-13 season, he never really nailed down a regular first-team role for himself and by the final seasons of his career, he was regularly being shifted out wide, coming up with the odd thunderbolt and quirky social media post to keep Gunners' fans on his side.