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5 players Arsenal should never have signed

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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 09:31 IST
Abou Diaby
No place to hide for these Arsenal signings

Oh Arsenal, Arsenal!! How does a Premier League fan start to describe this club? The unparalleled model for success or failure depending on whom you ask, no other club has divided opinion as much among its own fanbase or outside it. Judging the administration of the Gunners over the past decade involves fine margins – between consistency and stagnation, between footballing success and financial success, but most importantly, between hope and daydream.

Through the eye of the storm, Arsene Wenger walks on calmly, season after season, indifferent to the pleas of the fanboys and haters alike; essentially running a football club by himself in a way that has hardly been seen in the 21st century. Always having prided himself on his ability to spot and develop talent, Wenger has signed in excess of 80-90 odd players since his last Premier League title.

For every astute Koscielny purchase, there was a hapless Squillaci as well; for every well scouted Bellerin story, detractors will remind you of a certain Andre Santos. Here’s a look at 5 recent signings Wenger won’t be looking back upon with fondness:

#5 Mathieu Debuchy

Debuchy Arsenal
Debuchy’s Arsenal career was derailed by injuries

The Frenchman finds himself in this list due to a series of unfortunate injuries. Debuchy seemed the perfect replacement for the outgoing fellow French international Bacary Sagna at the time of his signing. The full-back had made a name for himself as a quality attacking right back during his time at Newcastle, and Wenger was keen to retain Premier League experience in defence – it seemed the perfect marriage at the time.

Debuchy's troubles, however, started in September 2014 when he damaged his ankle ligaments during a match against Manchester City. A few months later, he had to undergo surgery for a dislocated shoulder, ruling him out for a further three months. By the time he was fit, Arsenal had found themselves a new starter in Hector Bellerin, who had established himself as one of the best fullbacks in the league – let alone the Arsenal squad.

The relation between the former Lille man and his manager has understandably strained – and there are contrasting reports about whether Wenger has refused to sanction his sale or whether there is a lack of suitors. Signed as the first choice right back and currently arguably the fourth choice, it is safe to say Debuchy’s signing hasn’t panned out as Arsene Wenger had planned.

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Published 28 Jan 2017, 10:32 IST
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