“It’s difficult to say” - Arsene Wenger names his best-ever signing for Arsenal

Show - 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards - Monaco
Show - 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards - Monaco
Nnanna Mba

Going on a promotional run for the ‘Arsene Wenger: Invincible’ Movie, legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was interviewed by ex-player Ian Wright for LadBible TV.

The legendary Arsenal striker quizzed his former manager on who his best signing was. Wenger revealed that it was French midfield general Patrick Vieira. Wenger mentioned that the signing reassured Gooners of his ability to spot talent and win over their trust early on:

"Its difficult to say but Vieira has to be the one. We arrived at the same time and people were saying, 'Arsene who'? And when they saw Vieira play they said, 'We dont know this guy but at least he brings good players'"

Despite technically being signed by the previous regime, Vieira was signed at the insistence of Wenger while he worked his notice in Japan before his arrival. The Frenchman was said to have asked David Dein to get the then 20-year-old without much hesitation.

🗓 #OnThisDay in 1996...👔 Arsene Wenger officially became the new manager of Arsenal Football Club. Premier League: 🥇🥇🥇 FA Cup: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🔴 Games: 1,235⚽️ Goals: 2,298✅ Wins: 716𝗢𝗻𝗲 Arsene Wenger ❤️

An incredible fact that showed the prowess of Wenger in the transfer window is that Arsenal’s Invincible defense cost less than £10 million. Wenger assembled the all-conquering defense from scratch, with the only member to precede the Frenchman being Martin Keown, who featured only 10 times that season.

Now 72 years old, Wenger still feels pride at how cheaply he built that stalwart defense. Lauren cost £8 million, Lehmann cost roughly £1.5 million, Kolo Touré was £500,000, and Sol Campbell joined on a free transfer. Ashley Cole, on the other hand, rose through the ranks from the academy.

Arsène sitting with all the other Invincible Premier League managers...

With many great signings under his belt, it makes choosing the Frenchman as his best signing show his importance to Wenger.

The one player Arsene Wenger regrets not signing: N'Golo Kante

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League
Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

During the same interview with Ian Wright, Arsene Wenger mentioned that one player he regretted not buying was N'Golo Kante.

According to the former Arsenal manager, Kante would have been easy to pick up at the time:

"Easy, because he played for a club in Paris that's called Suresnes where one of my best friends is director and he told me 'Please, I have a player we know that is unbelievable. Nobody wants him in France'. He took him in his car and travelled with him from club to club. And finally, a club from division three in France (Boulogne) took N'Golo Kante. It's an unbelievable story. You could make a film about him as well."

N'Golo Kante went on to become one of the most successful midfielders in the Premier League in the 2010s, winning the title with Leicester City (2016) and Chelsea (2017).

Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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