Armand Traore has admitted that he once spent 10 hours in police custody after bringing knuckle-dusters to a north London derby.
Traore spent six years at Arsenal after joining the club’s youth system in 2005.
He made 32 first-team appearances before leaving in 2011, when he joined Queens Park Rangers.
The 28-year-old also had loan spells with Portsmouth and Juventus during his stay in north London, as well as a stint in police custody.
He has admitted that, at the age of 17, and in the early throes of his Arsenal career, he once took knuckle-dusters to a north London derby.
“Coming from France, I used to go to PSG versus Marseille – and the fans there would batter each other.
“I was only 17 and I had just started playing for Arsenal’s first-team. I had these images in my mind. I went to the north London derby but I was convinced someone might recognise me.
“I thought if a Spurs fan did, then I needed to be ready if something happened. So I had a knuckle-duster in my pocket — which was just stupid. As I walked into the stadium, the police found it on me and I ended up in custody for more than 10 hours. I didn’t see a ball kicked. Eventually they released me.
“I was just stupid. Young and naive. Can you imagine if something actually had happened? It would have been life-changing. I was young and I have learned my lesson. It was a stupid mistake.”