Arsenal have always been one of those clubs that have bought and sold intelligently, especially under the guidance of Arsene Wenger, whose prowess in the transfer market is legendary. However, every once in a while, the Frenchman has gotten it massively wrong, letting go of a player when he still could have offered more to the club.
While the balance sheets might have had a rosier look to them, the cost for Arsenal has been a lack of success in all of these cases, with the player in question going on to win trophies at other clubs.
Here are the top 5 players Arsenal should never have sold
#5 Thierry Henry
It’s not often that the Frenchman is #5 on any list, but Thierry Henry is a rather obvious inclusion. The moment Henry penned an emotional letter in The Sun and posted a teary-eyed video on the Arsenal website announcing his decision to leave for Barcelona is one that is etched in any Arsenal fan's heart.
The best player to have ever played in an Arsenal shirt claimed that the ‘uncertainty’ surrounding Arsene Wenger’s future at Arsenal was why he left. To make it worse, Henry left for a paltry £16 million – a fee that Darren Bent eclipsed when he moved to Tottenham days later. Surely the Gunners could have tempted him to stay – he was a fan of the club and a legend.
The Frenchman then went on to star for Barcelona, racking up the trophies which included La Liga and the UEFA Champions League as he partnered Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o. At the same time, a hugely promising Arsenal side was leading the league for much of the season, only to fall away at the end where Henry’s fighting spirit and experience could have been of much use.
It looked like Arsene Wenger learned his lesson later, signing Henry for a dream return in 2012, where a late winner turned out to be crucial as Arsenal narrowly squeaked into the Champions League spots.