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Francis Jeffers, Kim Kallstrom, Andre Santos – worst XI of players signed by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal


Arsene Wenger was well known for unearthing some diamonds at Arsenal during his 22-year tenure.

Players like Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure and Patrick Viera were signed for minimal transfer fees.

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Arsene Wenger left Arsenal in 2018

Even Thierry Henry cost just £10.5million and went on to be the club’s record goalscorer.

Wenger did not always get things right, though, with some of his signings not living up to their price tag or expectations.

Here at talkSPORT.com, we have made an XI of Wenger’s worst signings for Arsenal.

Ray Parlour’s brilliant story about being ‘stitched right up’ by Tony Adams in his Arsenal initiation

Goalkeeper – Richard Wright

Wright was signed for £2m from Ipswich in 2001 and was seen as a long term successor to David Seaman.

An injury to Seaman in his first season saw Wright get his chance but he failed to capitalise on it.

He punched the ball into his own net in a 4-2 defeat to Charlton at Highbury and was also at fault for Gus Poyet’s equaliser in the north London derby against Tottenham.

He was sold to Everton a year later for £3.5m.

Richard Wright played just a handful of games for Arsenal

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Richard Wright played just a handful of games for Arsenal

Right-back – Carl Jenkinson

Signed from Charlton in 2011 after making just eight appearances in League One, it was believed Arsenal had paid around £1million for the right-back.

He was one of a number of young British players at the club but had some ups and downs during the early part of his career.

Jenkinson suffered a number of injury problems but stayed at the club until 2019 while making very little impact on the pitch.

In those eight seasons, he played just 71 times for the Gunners before joining Nottingham Forest.

Carl Jenkinson remarkably spent eight years at Arsenal

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Carl Jenkinson remarkably spent eight years at Arsenal

Left-back – Andre Santos

Santos was signed from Fenerbache for £6.2million in 2011 but it proved to be a poor addition.

He made several dismal performances and was widely criticised for a particular shocking display against Man United where he also swapped shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time.

Andre Santos left Arsenal in 2013

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Andre Santos left Arsenal in 2013

Centre-back – Igor Stepanovs

In 2000, Stepanovs was signed as cover for the injured Tony Adams and was by no means a suitable replacement.

Despite an initial good start, performances were poor in important games and was particularly bad in a 6-1 defeat to Manchester United. That loss impacted their chances of winning the title and he only played once again that season.

He played 31 times for the Gunners before eventually leaving for Grasshopper in 2004.

But it would perhaps be a little bit unfair to blame Wenger for this one… as the Arsenal squad were only heaping praise on him in a trial to wind-up Martin Keown but that meant he was given four-year deal.

Igor Stepanovs had a short lived Arsenal career

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Igor Stepanovs had a short lived Arsenal career

Centre-back – Sebastien Squillaci

The France international was signed for £4m in 2010 from Sevilla and found himself as a first-team regular thanks to an injury to Thomas Vermaelen.

He played 32 times in his first season but contributed a number of poor performances.

Squillaci fell down the pecking order the next season with the arrival of Per Mertesacker and played just one more Premier League game for the club before being released in 2013.

Arsenal paid £4million for Sebastien Squillaci

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Arsenal paid £4million for Sebastien Squillaci

Centre midfield – Denilson

Arsenal signed him from for £3.6m in 2006 from Sao Paulo despite only playing 21 senior games at the time.

He never lived up to his potential and was often a frustrating presence in midfield for supporters as he loved to pass the ball backwards.

Somehow he played 153 games for the Gunners, far more than he should have done, before being loaned back to Sao Paulo.

Denilson made 153 Arsenal appearances – more than he probably should have

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Denilson made 153 Arsenal appearances – more than he probably should have

Centre midfield – Kim Kallstrom

The Swedish midfielder joined on loan in January 2014 despite the discovery of a back injury during his medical.

He ended up making just four appearances at Arsenal before returning to parent club Spartak Moscow and it is baffling as to why he was actually signed.

Kim Kallstrom was an Arsenal loan signing

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Kim Kallstrom was an Arsenal loan signing

Right midfield – Amaury Bischoff

Bischoff signed in 2008 on a free transfer with even Wenger describing it as a gamble due to his long injury history.

Even when he was fit he made just one appearance, playing for 25 minutes, before being released by the club.

Amaury Bischoff made just one Arsenal appearance

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Amaury Bischoff made just one Arsenal appearance

Left midfield – Ryo Miyaichi

Wenger signed Miyaichi following a successful trial in 2010 but he ended up playing just seven times for the club, mostly in cup games, before joining FC St Pauli in 2015.

He was loaned out to Feyenoord, Bolton, Wigan, and FC Twente by the Gunners but never made the grade at the north London club.

Ryo Miyaichi played just seven games for Arsenal

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Ryo Miyaichi played just seven games for Arsenal

Forward – Christopher Wreh

Wreh was signed for £300,000 in 1997 from Wenger’s old club Monaco but found chances limited due to Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and Nicolas Anelka.

He played 28 league games for Arsenal but only found the net three times and was sent out on loan to AEK Athens, Birmingham and Den Bosch.

Christopher Wreh struggled for games at Arsenal

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Christopher Wreh struggled for games at Arsenal

Forward – Francis Jeffers

Jeffers was an £8m signing from Everton in 2001 but failed to live up to that price tag and was plagued by injuries.

He only made 39 total appearances, scoring eight goals, before being sold to Charlton in 2004 for £2.6m.

Francis Jeffers was signed for £8million from Everton

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Francis Jeffers was signed for £8million from Everton

How Arsene Wenger’s worst signings would look

The worst XI of signings made by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

Buildlineup.com

The worst XI of signings made by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal



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