The French midfielder was secured for a lowly £2.5m back in 1996, with him being one of the first signings of Wenger’s reign.
He went on to enjoy a stellar nine years with the Gunners in which he won numerous accolades, including Premier League titles, and captaining the side during one of their more successful periods.
He proved to be one of Wenger’s best pieces of business, and the long-serving manager has conceded that he certainly provided the best value for money.
“I love a bargain. Who does not love a bargain? I don’t know many people that don’t,” he told arsenal.com.
“What is for us a bargain is to buy players of top quality, because only top quality strengthens our squad. I bought Patrick Vieira for £2.5m and it was a top bargain because he was a top-quality player - it would be difficult to repeat these kind of buys now.”
Wenger has been a bit more open to spending big in recent transfer windows, with Mesut Ozil arriving from Real Madrid and then Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.
Both of those star turns arrived for big money sums, but have made positive impacts on the side, with the duo playing a key part in their strong start to this season.
And despite the cost to secure them, Wenger says he does not regret splashing the cash because they are top level performers.
“What is most important is the quality of the player,” he added.
“We paid high money for Ozil and Alexis - the highest we’ve ever paid - but I don’t regret it for a second. I still think it’s absolutely fantastic because we have the money and because the players are top quality.”