Arsene Wenger has an incredible reputation for both developing and getting the best out of his players. His success at Arsenal was largely built on buying cheap players and maximising their potential by transforming them into superstars. Despite all his success in this area, Arsene Wenger was occasionally guilty of signing a player and stunting his career.
These were players with all the talent in the world, but once Arsene Wenger was done with them, and being benched or not being played in positions that they were comfortable with, these players did not end up doing well. Their careers were hurt forever.
Here are three Wenger signings that did not live up to the high expectations that they came with.
Gervinho’s ability is undoubted. He shone continuously on the International stage with the Ivory Coast and he enjoyed a prolific spell at Roma after being sold by Arsenal. Eden Hazard even named him as the best player that he has ever played with.
When signed by Arsene Wenger as a 24-year-old, all signs pointed towards him being developed into the latest Arsenal superstar. His £10 Million fee looked to be a bargain whilst his pace and directness should have made Premier League defences fear him. After being sent off in his first game, Gervinho quickly established himself in the team and ended his debut season with 37 appearances.
He was tested as a striker after the departure of Robin Van Persie in 2012 and quickly began to score regularly. Despite this, Olivier Giroud went on to establish himself as the new first choice striker at the Emirates and this coincided with a loss of confidence and form for the Ivorian. At the end of the 2012/13 season, Wenger admitted that Arsenal was holding back his development and the attacking player was sold to Roma for a £3 million loss.