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PICTURE: Before they were famous - 9 Gunners as kids!

Nine Arsenal stars feature in a social media montage that is quickly going viral…

In 2009, a particularly painful Champions League exit due to a 4-1 aggregate defeat to Manchester United was worsened when Patrice Evra said that playing against Arsenal was like 'men against babies'. If that were indeed the case, the United stars would be lining up against the following faces…

As it turns out, those fresh-faced children have grown into some of the best footballers in the division, ripening collectively and are currently atop the Premier League table with a four point cushion separating themselves from chasing pair Liverpool and Chelsea while United languish in seventh place, seven points behind the Gunners.

While United edged Arsenal a fortnight ago with a slender 1-0 win at Old Trafford, the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium occurs on Tuesday, February 11 and so provides Arsene Wenger's side with an opportune moment to demonstrate to the reigning title holders just how much they have matured.

In the above picture, English duo and Spaniard Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta bear some resemblance to their current selves. Wojech Szczesny, too, has a similar facial expression while Thomas Vermaelen is perhaps the most changed star.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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