2017 FA Cup Finalists: Where Are They Now?

Nischal Schwager-Patel
Arsenal and Chelsea line up for the FA Cup Final in 2017.
Arsenal and Chelsea line up for the FA Cup Final in 2017. / Ian Walton/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Rivalries are renewed for the 2020 FA Cup final, as London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea face off at Wembley Stadium.

Mikel Arteta and Frank Lampard are both aiming to win their first trophy as managers, and what better place to do so than at the home of football. This will be the third time the Blues have played the Gunners in the final, the last time coming in 2017 with a 2-1 win for the north Londoners.

Things were very different back then: Antonio Conte was going for the double, while Arsène Wenger faced increased pressure to leave. Only four players from each starting lineup are still at the respective clubs, while a full Wembley will be mirrored by an empty one.

Three years on, 90min looks at where the finalists from Arsenal and Chelsea are now.


Arsenal

Goalkeeper and Defenders

Arsenal players line up in the 2017 FA Cup Final.
Arsenal players line up in the 2017 FA Cup Final. / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

David Ospina (GK) - Ospina won his second FA Cup that day at Wembley. He left on loan for Napoli the following year, before joining I Partenopei on a permanent deal in July 2019.

Rob Holding (CB) - The first player to feature who is still at Arsenal is Holding, who won the cup in his first season at the Emirates. He has since made 77 appearances for the Gunners, playing all but one of their games en route to this year’s final.

Per Mertesacker (CB) - Mertesacker captained Arsenal to victory in 2017, completing a hat-trick of FA Cup wins. He retired from the game 12 months later, staying in north London to become the club’s academy manager - a role he remains in to this day.

Nacho Monreal (CB) - Monreal brought an end to eight years with Arsenal last year, leaving for his native Spain to join Real Sociedad. The 34-year-old helped the Basque club to a sixth-place finish, their joint best La Liga season in seven years.


Midfielders

Héctor Bellerín and Aaron Ramsey celebrate Arsenal's winner.
Héctor Bellerín and Aaron Ramsey celebrate Arsenal's winner. / IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Héctor Bellerín (RWB) - Nine years after joining as a youth player from Barcelona, Bellerín could win a third FA Cup trophy in five years.

Aaron Ramsey (CM) - Ramsey was the matchwinner in 2017, heading home to win the cup for Arsenal. He left on a free transfer for Italian giants Juventus two years later, who recently won their ninth straight Serie A title in his first full season in Turin.

Granit Xhaka (CM) - Xhaka won the FA Cup in his first season in England, and will be just as crucial for this weekend’s final. The Swiss has endured a bit of a rollercoaster Arsenal career, though remains their key midfielder under Arteta.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (LWB) - Remarkably, Oxlade-Chamberlain was deployed as a wing-back for the final. He signed for Liverpool just three months later, with the four major honours he's won since that move being more than the Gunners have managed in the last 15 years.


Forwards

Alexis Sánchez scores the opening goal for Arsenal.
Alexis Sánchez scores the opening goal for Arsenal. / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Mesut Özil (RW) - While Özil is still technically an Arsenal player, but he has fallen far out of favour since the 2017 triumph. The German’s Premier League gametime has decreased by 39.4%, since them, as he has become a forgotten man in north London.

Danny Welbeck (FW) - Welbeck was preferred to current Chelsea man Olivier Giroud up front, winning his first piece of silverware at Wembley. He joined Watford in 2019, scoring against his former side on the final day of the season as the Hornets were relegated from the top flight.

Alexis Sánchez (LW) - Sánchez controversially opened the scoring in 2017, and he was named man of the match. The Chilean forward left for Manchester United eight months later, and is currently at loan at Conte’s Inter.


Chelsea

Goalkeeper and Defenders

Chelsea players stand together before the 2017 FA Cup Final.
Chelsea players stand together before the 2017 FA Cup Final. / Ian Walton/Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois (GK) - Despite a fantastic season en route to winning the league, Courtois conceded twice in the FA Cup defeat. The Belgian forced a move to Real Madrid in 2018, helping Los Blancos win their 34th La Liga title this year.

César Azpilicueta (CB) - It is no surprise that Azpilicueta - who is now the Blues’ loyal captain - started at Wembley that day. He could start in the exact same position on the right of a back three this weekend too - a setup which has worked wonders for both Conte and Lampard.

David Luiz (CB) - Having signed for Arsenal at the start of the season, he will now start against his former side this weekend.

Gary Cahill (CB) - Cahill took over from John Terry as club captain after he left, wearing the armband at Wembley. However, it did not work out for the Englishman, as he finally left Stamford Bridge for Crystal Palace on a free transfer last year.


Midfielders

N'Golo Kanté (right) in action for Chelsea at the FA Cup Final.
N'Golo Kanté (right) in action for Chelsea at the FA Cup Final. / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Victor Moses (RWB) - Moses proved to be the pantomime villain in 2017, as he was sent off for a second booking after a pointless dive. Since then, he's been on loan away from the Blues, spending time at Turkish club Fenerbahçe before reuniting with Conte at Inter.

N’Golo Kanté (CM) - Kanté was at the top of his game in 2017, but it was not enough to win a second Blues double in seven years. The Frenchman will hopefully be able to exact revenge this year, but fitness problems could keep him out of the XI.

Nemanja Matić (CM) - Matić formed a superb midfield partnership with Kanté. Two months later, he had signed for José Mourinho’s Manchester United, and has since made 120 appearances for the Red Devils in three years at Old Trafford.

Marcos Alonso (LWB) - Another player who could start in the exact same position is Alonso, who has flourished as a wing-back rather than further back in defence. He has remained a key part of Chelsea’s squad over the years and will be keen to win his fourth trophy as the club on Saturday.


Forwards

Diego Costa and Eden Hazard celebrate Chelsea's goal.
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard celebrate Chelsea's goal. / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Pedro (RW) - Pedro could bow out at Stamford Bridge with an FA Cup victory, which would be his 26th major honour of an illustrious career. The Spaniard is set to join Roma this summer, bringing an end to a wonderful five years in west London.

Diego Costa (FW) - Costa led the line and scored the Blues’ equaliser, though it was all in vain as Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners. It proved to be Costa’s final game for the club, signing for Atlético Madrid four months later, where he remains to this day.

Eden Hazard (LW) - If Chelsea could choose one player from this team to return, Hazard would be the natural choice. The Belgian genius had two more brilliant seasons at Chelsea, before bowing out last summer after seven years to make his dream move to Real Madrid.


For more from Nischal Schwager-Patel, follow him on Twitter here!

facebooktwitterreddit