As we all know, over the course of the Wenger years, there were several players who just missed out on joining up with the former Arsenal boss.
Here we take a look at the XI Wenger might have had…
“I remember when Hart played at Birmingham, I asked about him and they told me he is at Man City. I thought he would be the ‘keeper there. He has something that is needed for a goalkeeper to play at a big club and I am not surprised he made it as No 1.” – Wenger in 2011.
Virgil van Dijk
“Wenger had the chance once to sign Van Dijk and the chief scout at Arsenal said that he was too nonchalant. So, they didn’t do it. Now, my understanding is that he is quite good.
“I’m happy for him because he’s carving out a role at one of the world’s best clubs, which is remarkable. Yet at the same time, when you are in charge of a club like Arsenal, you have to wonder why this player is not playing for us. He was at Lens, and we might well have caught him there.” – Wenger in 2013.
“It was at a period where Fabregas came. We wanted to take Fabregas, Messi and Pique. It worked only for Fabregas.” – Wenger in 2014.
“We didn’t take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and didn’t want another left-back. I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield. He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well. The career of a player sometimes depends on playing in the right position.” – Wenger in 2013.
“I think in the end he was not so keen to move. It was not completely down to a flat in the end, it was down to the fact that Messi was comfortable at Barcelona.” – Wenger in 2014.
“Things happened very quickly. We were interested in him. We tried to get him to come here. But he very quickly signed for Juventus.” – Wenger in 2014
“I tried to sign Kante when he was in France and when he was at Leicester. We cannot explain everything – transfers are transfers – but it is quite obvious when you look at where he has gone.
“I believe Kante has had a huge impact. It’s no coincidence Chelsea are where they are and Leicester did what they did last season.” – Wenger in 2017
“My biggest regret, I was so close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo, and not only did I not get him he signed for Manchester United, so that of course still hurts today.” – Wenger in 2014.
“Arsene gave me the famous red and white jersey – the No 9 shirt with Ibrahimovic on it and I was so pleased I even posed for a picture wearing it. It was a fantastic moment for me. So then I waited for him to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn’t even try. He never actually made me a serious offer, it was more, ‘I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial’. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”. – Ibrahimovic in 2012.
“I’m very happy with what I did. There again, the details will maybe come out one day – maybe not in my book, but somebody else’s book! I know only one side of the story, but we always had fair relations with Liverpool, we kept in touch over that period. It was not meant to be provocative at all – it could be interpreted like that, but it was not our purpose.” – Wenger in 2013.