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Name David Platt
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc David Platt’s mid-‘90s arrival played a key part in Arsenal’s transformation from unattractive efficiency to aesthetic excellence. A former England captain, Platt brought leadership and goalscoring nous to the Gunners’ midfield


Org England National Team
Club as Player Arsenal FC
  Bari FC

1995 06 Retrieve

[David Platt on Roberto Baggio] One games stands out in particular, one against Ancona which we won 5–1. Baggio scored four goals in the first 20 minutes and killed the game off. I don’t think I’ve seen a better performance from any player in any game I’ve ever played in. For half an hour, he was on fire. As footballers go, he’s a genius

2019 01 10 Retrieve

[Platt once said] I wanted to become an Italian, speak like an Italian, to live and eat like an Italian

2020 01 24 Retrieve

[In an interview in 2010, recalling that moment against Belgium, Platt has no qualms in believing the goal sealed his move to Italy] If I hadn’t scored that goal, I might still have ended up playing in Italy, but, realistically, I’m sure it was the catalyst. Italian clubs were looking for international names and, before that goal, I was only really known as a club player with Aston Villa

[Why did nobody other than Bari step forward with a bid?] Genoa had a couple of sniffs, Juventus and Sampdoria were interested, but there was a fear of English players from the big clubs in Italy because they had their fingers burnt in the past

[Five months prior to Bari’s relegation he received a call from Roberto Mancini, the Sampdoria skipper and talisman who would ultimately play a huge role in his life – but at this point, the pair weren’t exactly on a first-name basis] We’d played Sampdoria a few times and I’d faced Robbie. But I didn’t know him and he’d tracked my number from somewhere. He said: ‘I know you’ve got a good relationship with your president, I’m sure you could push through a move to us’

[When the Blucerchiati played against Juventus in the Stadio Delle Alpi in May – a game he scored in – Platt would recall that] Robbie was playing, so I was marking him and hovering around, hoping he would say something

[In July 1993, the move to Sampdoria finally happened, with much-loved owner Paolo Mantovani paying £5.2m for him. In three successive summers, Platt had wracked up an accumulative £17.2m in transfer fees. Mantovani might have stumped up the money for him but he is unequivocal about who made the deal materialise] I’ve always suspected I wasn’t on Sampdoria’s list that summer, because their president wanted to sign Marco Osio from Parma but he ran the transfer list past Robbie (Mancini), who had much of the say. I soon made the move

[He confessed to having envisioned winning trophies in England yet conceded he was torn between staying in Genoa, where he was settled, and with a proposal from Arsenal on the table, believing that at the age of 29 this was his last chance to join another big club. In his own words] I couldn’t have my cake and eat it