Wenger’s 25 most memorable transfers

There was a little comment from a reader about Arsenal being a selling club with a cheapskate manager. I’m long beyond taking any notice of such drivel, but I thought I would take a look at the major transfers that Wenger has been involved in since he came to the club.

And I was surprised that I couldn’t find a nice and easy list to read. So, despite the fact that I should have been typing up the interviews that I did earlier in the week I became distracted and put together my own list of Wenger transfers, in no particular order.

The information is either from memory or from what I could quickly look up. Please do correct errors, and add extra ones that should be here.

I was generally guided by the notion that the people listed should be seen as a success, and have played a fair number of games, or have only recently arrived. On the issue of quality of player, you might not normally include my final entry, who is described by some as solid rather than brilliant (although I saw him as one of those whose contribution is easy to overlook because of the nature of his game), but whatever your view his subsequent contribution to the club has been so overwhelming that he must be included.

So here’s the list – Wenger’s most memorable transfers… but please do note, I put them down as I thought of them – they are not in order of importance or anything else.

1: Patrick Vieira: Signed from AC Milan in 1996 for £3.5m. Sold to Juventus in 2005 for £13m.

2: Thierry Henry: Signed from Juventus in 1999 for £10.5m. Sold to Barcelona in 2007 for £16.1m

3: Nicolas Anelka: Signed from Paris-St Germain in 1997 for £0.5m. Sold to Real Madrid in 1999 for £23m.

4: Robert Pires: Signed from Marseille in 2000 for £6m. Sold to Villarreal, 2006, free.

5: Cesc Fabregas: Signed from Barcelona in 2003 for £0.25m

6: Eduardo: Signed from Dynamo Zagreb in 2007 for £16m

7: Bacary Sagna: Signed from Auxaure in 2007 for £7m.

8: Andrei Arshavin: Signed from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009 for £15m.

9: Emmanuel Petit: Signed from Monaco in 1997 for £2.5m. Sold to Barca for £7m

10: Marc Overmars: Signed from Ajax in 1997 for £5m. Sold to Barca for £20m

11: Freddie Ljunberg: Signed from Sweden in 1998 for £3m. Sold to West Ham

12: Lauren: Signed from Mallorca in 2000 for £7m. Sold to Portsmouth for

13: Sol Campbell: Signed from Tottenham in 2001 for free. Sold to Portsmouth for free.

14: Theo Walcott: Signed from Southampton in 2006 for £5m

15: Samir Nasri: Signed from Olympique de Marseille in 2008 for £12m

16. Gilberto: Signed from Atlético Mineiro in 2002 for £4.2m. Sold to Panathinikos in 2008.

17. Tomas Rosický: Signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2006 for £7m

18. Gael Clichy: Signed from AS Cannes in 2003 for ???

19. Kolo Toure: Signed from Breveren in 2002 for £150,000.

20. Silvain Wiltord: Signed from Bordeaux in 2000 for £13m. Sold to Olympique Lyonnais.

21: Robin Van Persie: Signed from Feyenoord in 2004 for £5m

22: Emmanuel Adebayor: Signed from Monaco in 2006 for £7m

23. Jens Lehmann: Signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2003 for ???

24: Gilles Grimandi: Signed from Monaco in 1997 for ???. Left for Colorado Rapids but retired to become chief scout in France

25: ?????? Who did I miss out? Gallas? Denilson and Song? Or Silvinho….. Or Edu? And we don’t have to stop at 25!

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

23 Replies to “Wenger’s 25 most memorable transfers”

  1. Freddie Ljungberg were signed from a Swedish club named Halmstad BK. Not just Sweden as you wrote.

  2. Please wenger this shows that your budget is always very low and you style of signing; you can buy one to two players only, but remember your squad is small for all games of the season that is why your boys get tired

  3. Try to expand your squad by signing three to four players to avoid next season dispointment , otherwise players & fans will go mad with you wenger in case no trophy next season.

  4. We paid 8m for Eduardo but how is he more memorable than Overmars, Freddy etc?

  5. I don’t think Eduardo was 16M, that would make him our record signing? No Reyes? His transfer was a big deal at the time

  6. To be fair, there were a few memorable flops as well – Jeffers and Cygan spring immediately to mind. Overall, the list just illustrates AW’s uncanny ability to spot POTENTIAL talent before they reach mega status. We are indeed blessed.

    John Muhindo
    I am sure Wenger is reading this Blog and following your advise as we write.

  7. u just doubled eddy`s cost (hope he`ll b back next season to full fitness so is mozart(rosicky). as 4 clichy he did cost 450k. isnt AW just the best?

  8. John Muhindo & Gooner: Have you noticed that Wenger usually makes no more than 2 big signings at the beginning of a season? It is obvious he gives more emphasis to continuity and stability than new signings. Plus he seeks to not pay over the odds no matter how good a player. It is consistent with his youth policy as he is always promoting 2-3 players from the reserves every year. So relax man, leave the incessant bleatings for new signings to the tabloid press and the infantile bloggers.

  9. i believe Arshavin was Wenger’s most expensive signing at 15m, but you’ve listed eduardo at 16m. Are you sure about this?

  10. I really liked Edu plus people forget his contribution to title wins. We have a good deep playmaker in Denilson but the guy had the potential to be a top world player had he not got those horrendous injuries.

  11. Two that stand out for me from that spreadsheet, Kim.
    Bendtner for £200,00. Bargain! And Vela for (an eventual) £550,000 Bargain!

  12. Fantastic spreadsheet. Average of less than ££M spend per annum, impressive.

  13. The spreadsheet doesnt count the money we got with the sell-on clauses for bentley, diarra n others… if this is taken into consideration, the net spending will be just couple of millions..

  14. I always think of Reyes as the one who got away. OK the boy didn’t like getting kicked by lumpen headed ManU players – and who can blame him for that? I just feel he was one of the first steps in a kind of pre-emptive rebuilding which had it worked would have kept some momentum going from that great team he joined. Managers cannot make a player enjoy his time in the premiership they can only give him his chance.

  15. Very many thanks for the comments and corrections. I’ll update the list and put it up as a permanent page – for me if for no one else. Handy list to have in my opinion.


  16. Almunia is memorable for me. His development with us qualified him as a home-grown player – amazing efforts.

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