With Arsenal facing AS Monaco in the Champions League we look at the three worst Arsenal signings Arsene Wenger recruited from the Principality club.
As a manager, Arsene Wenger’s career has centred mostly around AS Monaco and Arsenal and though it’s his tenure with the latter that is likely to be best remembered by modern football fans, a Champions League clash between the sides is likely to be an emotional one for the Frenchman.
Sadness, regret and anger are all feelings likely to be floating in and out of Wenger’s thoughts going into the game, though not necessarily for the reasons you may think.
While Wenger’s Monaco ties gave Arsenal the opportunity to sign such greats at Emmanuel Petit and Thierry Henry, it also prompted the Gunners manager to splash some serious cash on a few truly terrible buys. Here are three of the very worst.
Park must rue the day he ever picked up the phone to Wenger, who had contacted the South Korea international with the offer of a move to Arsenal mere hours before he was set to sign with Ligue 1 outfit Lille.
At that point the striker’s stock in France was pretty high, having shone in a poor Monaco side that ultimately ended the season relegated in 2011. The following summer the Asian star was inundated with offers but chose to move to the Emirates for a cool £5.5 million.
That paltry transfer fee should have made the forward a bargain regardless of his return in front of goal but Park rarely shone in the games he did feature, with one start against Marseille in the Champions League a particular lowlight.
Though he did score in the League Cup against Bolton in his debut season, the South Korean made just one appearance as a substitute against Manchester United in the Premier League.
Loan moves to Celta Vigo and Watford followed before Arsenal released the striker, who was last seen with Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia.
A real contender for one of Wenger’s worst ever signings at Arsenal, Squillaci’s failure at the Emirates remains something of a mystery when you consider the fact that he was part of the AS Monaco backline that made it all the way to the final of the Champions League in 2004.
The stopper even scored a crucial away goal against Real Madrid along the way and won silverware with Lyon and Sevilla before heading to north London in a £4 million deal.
Though he scored against Partizan Belgrade in the Champions League and Stoke City in the Premier League, the Frenchman’s first season at the club was littered with notable and quite often costly mistakes.
Wenger was concerned too and after just a single year at the club the Arsenal manager opted to sign Per Mertesacker in the summer of 2011 as a direct replacement for Squillaci.
Not that he cared, with the ex-Monaco man opting to remain at the club a further two seasons, collecting a reportedly hefty wage in the process before moving on to Bastia in Ligue 1 where he is now a first-team regular.
A contentious addition, perhaps, but Emmanuel Adebayor still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of many Gooners and that’s before we even consider the fact he went on to play for Tottenham.
An undoubtedly talented striker, the Togo international was a troublemaker long before he arrived in north London, having effectively pushed through a move to Arsenal.
Under Wenger he went from a talented and inconsistent striker to a Premier League goal machine, who’s efforts in the final third were deemed impressive enough for Manchester City to shell out £25 million on the forward.
Not the most popular member of the Arsenal squad and a player that clashed with others like Nicklas Bendtner at the time, Adebayor set a worrying trend at the club.
Players would come in, develop under Wenger, and then depart for monetary rather than football reasons. There was also THAT goal celebration.
Nevertheless, it is telling that Adebayor has rarely enjoyed as consistent a time in front of goal in his career as he did during those fantastic seasons at Arsenal.
With him, a new Invincibles could have been developed but without him the Gunners have seen Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie among others follow his lead.
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