5 best/worst signings of Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger is presently the longest serving manager in a Premier League club and the Frenchman has worked with numerous players since joining the club in 1996.
Arsenal have always been a club active in every transfer window where top quality players have been signed by the coach after his assessment.
As the French tactician celebrates his 20th anniversary with the club, NaijSports looks at the best/worst players that have joined Arsenal under the 66 year-old’s tutelage.
Here are the four worst signings of Wenger
1. Francis Jeffers
The English striker joined the Gunners golden era in the summer of 2001 where he was purchased for £8million, an amount Wenger does no spend on English strikers that time.
The England international was not able to break into the scoring geniuses of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Silvian Wiltord. Jeffers played 38 games in just over two season and scored eight goals.
2. Junichi Inamoto
The Japanese midfielder was supposedly brought on loan for commercial reasons – to boost shirt sales in Japan and Far East.
Unfortunately Inamoto never made the starting XI and had to return to his home country before loaned to Fulham after making just four non-league appearances in just one season.
3. Andre Santos
After making an impression in Brazil’s friendly match played at the Emirates in 2011, Wenger wasted no time in acquiring the services of Andre Santos for £6.8million from Fenerbahce.
Many thought he will be the next Sylvinho after playing few impressive matches for the Gunners but Santos lost form and wrapped it up with injuries and fitness problems.
4. Manuel Almunia
It can be said that Manuel Aluminia was one Wenger worst goalkeepers during his era. The Gunners twice went close to winning the Premier League title both that efforts were undermined by the Spaniard.
Alumnia’s mistakes proved costly and dented Arsenal’s chances of becoming Champions of England as it showed he was not good enough to be number one. In 2011 the Spanish goalkeeper was third choice behind Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny.
In contrast with the worst signings, here are the four best players of Wenger
1. Thierry Henry
The King is arguably the best Arsenal player of all time and the French coach is responsible for his exploits for the club scoring 226 goals in 369 appearances for the Gunners after putting pen in paper from Juventus in 1999 for £10.5 million.
Wenger and Henry
Henry interpreted Wenger’s philosophy with the way he played and became successful even after moving on to Barcelona where he won six trophies in one season with Pep Guardiola in charge.
2. Patrick Vieira
One thing the Gunners manager is known for is turning orinary players into extra ordinary ones that was how he transformed Vieira into what he became as an attacking midfielder.
Wenger and Vieira
Wenger’s bought him for as little as £10.5 million form AC Milan in 1996 and was part of the French national team that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 editions.
3. Cesc Fabregas
Before signing the Spaniard on a free transfer from Barcelona youth team, Wenger revealed he had seen Fabregas up to 50 times play for the Catalan club to be sure of what he was buying which eventually paid off.
Wenger and Fabregas
Today, the 30-year-old is rated one of the best attacking midfielders in the game and was part of the ‘invincibles’ that won the league title in 2003/04 season.
4. Sol Campbell
A player who became a legend playing for two London clubs was undoubtedly another Wenger’s investment for Arsenal that yielded dividends. Campbell had two different spells with the Gunners between 2001 and 2006 also in 2010.
Arsene Wenger and Sol Campbell
During his time at Arsenal, Campbell won two EPL titles (2002, 2004) and three FA Cups (2002, 2003, 2005) including the double in 2002. He was also part of Wenger’s team that played 10 consecutive Champions League clean sheets enroute to the final before losing to Barcelona in 2006.