- The legendary Frenchman won three Premier League titles and picked up seven FA Cup winners’ medals during a famed spell between 1996 and 2018. In his first season in charge he claimed a Premier League and FA Cup double. He also dealt with hundreds of transfers and signed some of Arsenal’s greatest players in the modern era.
The likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and and Marc Overmars all arrived under Wenger. Unknown 17-year-old Nicolas Anelka was one of Wenger’s most enterprising signings and he is the one player Wenger’s considers as his “biggest regret”.
Speaking at an event alongside David Dein, Wenger said: “Yes, we used the Arsene Wenger card and players wanted to go to where they would win. My biggest regret and shame is that Anelka left. He could have been special, instead he played for 13 clubs.”
Wenger added: “On Ronaldo, we scouted him and were impressed. We did dinner, we discussed money. The next day Manchester United blew us out of the water. We were used.”
Anelka stood in for Ian Wright during the second half of the 1997/98 double season. He then won the PFA Young Player of the Year award the following campaign before leaving for Real Madrid.
Madrid paid £22.3m for Anelka – a player they had paid just £500,000 for. They subsequently bought Henry with the profits.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have emerged as a potential landing spot for Alexandre Lacazette.
Six wins and two draws in the league has thrust Arsenal into top four contention, and one player who has played a significant role in their revival is Lacazette.
Barcelona target Lacazette
The Frenchman, 30, has featured in each of Arsenal’s last five league matches. His last-gasp equaliser against Crystal Palace last month summed up the club’s new-found resilience under Mikel Arteta.
However, Lacazette is in the final year of his contract, and thus far, there are no signs an extension will be signed.
That leaves the Gunners with two options. Firstly they could sanction a cut-price January sale in order to recoup a fee. Alternatively, they may wish to squeeze another six months out of Lacazette given his stellar form, and then lose him for free next summer.
Now, The Hard Tackle have stated Barcelona have their eye on the first option, with their need for attacking reinforcements now immediate.
Martin Braithwaite is sidelined with a serious knee injury. Furthermore, Sergio Aguero will miss a minimum of three months after being diagnosed with a heart problem.
As such, Lacazette is a candidate to remedy their woes in January, and Arsenal have reportedly slapped a €10m (£8.5m) price tag on his head.