May 25, 2024
Arsene Wenger

Ronaldo, Messi, Zlatan: Arsene Wenger’s XI of players he ‘almost signed’

Arsene Wenger will forever be a legend for how he revolutionised Arsenal in a mammoth spell as manager.

It took him just two years following his 1996 arrival to become the first manager to win a Premier League and FA Cup double, announcing himself to the world as the man to watch despite arriving in England with little fanfare.

Over the next two decades, Wenger turned Arsenal into a consistent threat and propelled them forward in the modern game, wrestling away total dominance from Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United and famously going unbeaten to win the Premier League in 2003/04.

Wenger unfortunately couldn’t get over the line in Europe and painfully got Arsenal as far as reaching the Champions League final in 2006, before losing to Barcelona.

However, his legacy cannot be understated and his work as a manager can never be ignored. After all, there’s a reason the Frenchman is referred to by so many as ‘Le Professeur’.

Upon arriving to England, Wenger became known for his tactical innovation and ability to coach players into top class talents, while also spotting talented players on the transfer market and in his youth systems.

You only have to look at the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira to remember the glory days, while the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas all spring to mind when you think of Wenger’s later work

But when he wasn’t stealing Premier Leagues and FA Cups from Ferguson or putting together WrestleMania worthy face-offs with Jose Mourinho, Wenger did pick up a habit for claiming to have ‘almost signed’ just about every top player in football that didn’t end up at Arsenal.

Yeah, you know the line. Wenger was the king of saving face when it came to missed transfers and loved to reveal how he was close to signing someone but didn’t for some reason or another, or spotted someone’s talent but couldn’t make the move happen. Sure you did, Arsene.

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