With the January transfer window in full swing, HITC Sport takes a look at some of the best and worst Arsenal signings.
Over the years, we've seen many spectacular and strange signings in the transfer window. Moves that have amazed and mystified fans and journalists alike, along with the occasional "hidden gem" or the odd "flop". Arsenal are one club who have been subject to all of the above over the years, and so, HITC Sport has decided to take a look at some of the best and the worst of Arsenal's transfer business.
General view of the Emirates Stadium
For many years, Arsenal had been crying out for a world class keeper. After the departure of David Seaman back in 2003, Arsenal spent many years in goalkeeping limbo, moving through the likes of Jens Lehmann, Manuel Almunia and Wojciech Szczesny. However, that all changed in 2015, when Arsenal signed Chelsea stalwart, Petr Cech, for a fee of around £10 million, according to The Guardian. Cech, who had lost his place to Chelsea's new goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, was largely recognised as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, and at the age of 34, still as plenty more years of glass keeping to give to the Gunners.
Arsenal's Petr Cech
If you were to ask Arsenal fans who their best ever bit of business was, most would be likely to tell you: Thierry Henry. Joining from Juventus in 1999 for a fee believed to be in the region £11 million (according to the BBC), Henry was a somewhat unknown quantity in England, and joined Arsenal after spending most of his time playing as a winger for the Italian giants. However, moving him up top, Arsene Wenger helped produce arguably the greatest striker in the Gunners history, scoring 174 goals in 254 games. Leaving as a legend in 2007 for Barcelona, Thierry Henry stands out as one of the Arsenal greats.
Thierry Henry celebrates goal v Liverpool 2004
In more recent years, Arsenal's achilles heel has been problems with it's defence. Despite some wonderful attacking talent, Arsenal have struggled with conceding goals, and have often lost out on games by conceding more than they should be. However, one defender who has always been consistently good for Arsenal, and has come on leaps and bounds under Arsene Wenger, is French defender, Laurent Koscielny. Joining Arsenal in 2010 from French club Lorient, Koscielny is now considered to be one of the best central defenders in Europe.
Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny during training
Despite some absolute gems, Arsene Wenger has made his fair share of mistakes in Arsenal signings. Back in 2001, Wenger brought in striker Francis Jeffers, thought to be a promising young English talent. Jeffers would go on to score only 4 times in 22 appearances for Arsenal, being sent eventually on loan to Everton and then onto Charlton Athletic in 2004.
Francis Jeffers during his time at Everton
in 2010, Arsene Wenger made another flop of a forward signing, in bringing in Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh. After making 40 appearances for Arsenal, Chamakh only managed to score 8 times for the Gunners, and eventually departed for Crystal Palace in 2013.
Marouane Chamakh for Arsenal
One of the most disappointing Arsenal signings of recent years has to be Ivorian international, Gervinho. After joining from Lille in 2011, Gervinho was touted as one of the most exciting and electric wingers in world football. However, after just 9 goals in 46 appearances, and a number of injuries, Gervinho departed the Gunners for Roma. He now plays his trade for Chinese side Heibi China Fortune.
Picture Supplied by Action Images - Gervinho