5 of Arsenal's best transfer windows of all-time
To write about Arsenal’s best transfer windows in the Premier League era is almost weird, given they’ve had more strange windows than perhaps any other top club.
Never a manager to splash money like a Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger – who has been in charge of the Gunners now for over two decades – has relied more on bargain buys and moulding players into his vision in order to gain success.
The move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006/07 meant that the club had millions in debt to pay off, which in turn led Arsenal to slow down on signing big name players even more than they’d done before, and it also meant they became somewhat of a selling club, allowing some of their best players to leave for hefty transfer fees.
Regardless of this, they’re still one of the most successful clubs of the Premier League era – winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, as well as capturing the UEFA Cup-Winners Cup and reaching the Champions League final in 2005/06.
And despite not paying big money, a lot of their success has been down to the players they’ve bought in. Here are Arsenal’s five greatest Premier League transfer windows:
#5 Summer 1995
This one actually pre-dates Wenger and goes back to the point when Bruce Rioch was in charge of Arsenal, but it’s hard to play down its importance to the club in the long run, given the two players they brought in that summer were massively high-profile ones and pretty much paved the road for the success Arsenal would have going into the late 1990’s.
The two players signed? Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp, who came in for a hefty price (at the time) of £7.5 million from Inter Milan, and then-England captain David Platt, brought in from Sampdoria for £4.75 million.
While Bergkamp’s reputation had taken a bit of a kicking in Italy and Platt was largely on the downswing of his career at 29, both men fitted into Arsenal’s system immediately, with Bergkamp scoring 11 goals and forming an impressive partnership with Ian Wright.
Their first season saw Arsenal finish 5th – an improvement on 1994/95’s 12th place finish – but the greatest successes came under Arsene Wenger a season later. He improved the team to 3rd place and then in 1997/98, they won the Premier League and FA Cup with Bergkamp being the star man, scoring a total of 22 goals in 40 appearances.
Platt eventually left Arsenal in 1999 but Bergkamp remained a mainstay there until 2005/06 – the final season at Highbury – and will probably go down as one of their all-time greatest players, as he lifted nine trophies while at the club.