As Arsenal heads into a Premier League clash with West Brom, Arsene Wenger is set to field the attacking trio of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette. The eye-watering attacking line-up of Gunners brings back the memories of legendary Highbury trio of Denis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires. Here we look at the players which could have been plying their trade in Arsenal’s shirt, if Arsene Wenger has got his way.

Pepe Reina

          
Arsene Wenger was clearly smitten with this Spanish goalkeeper but the fortunes eluded the Professor. Arsenal made a 20 million pounds bid for Reina in 2010 when he was plying his trade at Liverpool but the Reds rejected the offer. Again in 2014, Wenger tried to land the goalkeeper but he moved to Bayern Munich.

Roberto Carlos


The Brazilian famously known for his that fierce free-kick which shook the world once revealed that he wanted to join Arsenal but Arsene Wenger never made a bid for the fullback, who now enjoys a legendary status at Real Madrid.

Vincent Kompany


The towering defender was a relatively unknown before cementing his reputation as one of the finest defenders of his generation and moved to a then mediocre Manchester City from Hamburg. Talking about the failed Arsenal move, his agent said, “Heading to an absolute top club immediately was not the right solution for Vincent back then because he was not meant to be a third or fourth choice.”

Raphael Varane


Arsenal was hot on Varane’s trail when he was making waves at Lens in 2011 but a move to Emirates couldn’t happen because Arsenal was competing with free-spending Real Madrid for his signature.

Gerard Pique


Another youth product of Barcelona and batchmate of Lionel Messi, who preferred Manchester United over Arsenal.

Yaya Toure


His brother Kolo Toure was a Gunner already and so was Yaya. The Ivory Coast midfielder wore the Arsenal colours and even played a game for them but the work permit issues prevented him from joining Arsenal.

Claude Makelele


The French player popularised the role of a holding midfielder in football but before his fame, he was offered to Arsenal by French side Nantes but Wenger already had an imposing figure in Patric Viera at that position and hence the transfer could never materialise.

Cristiano Ronaldo


Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon agreed on a fee for the Portuguese attacker but Manchester United swayed him away with a big-money move in 2003. Wenger once said, “He was very close to coming here. He even has a No 9 shirt with Ronaldo on the back from Arsenal Football Club.”

Lionel Messi


When Wenger signed Fabregas, he also approached for his La Masia batchmate Lionel Messi but the diminutive striker was unwilling for a move away from Catalunya. Explaining his failure to sign Messi, Wenger said, “I think in the end he was not so keen to move.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic


The big Swede infamously refused Arsenal saying, “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”. Ibrahimovic was a 17-year-old budding striker back in 2000 playing for Malmo FF when Arsene Wenger approached him. The Frenchman asked Ibra to have a trial with Gunners but the striker turned it down and joined Ajax in the summer of 2001.

Luis Suarez


According to Wenger, the prolific centre-forward agreed to join Arsenal from Liverpool for a fee of 40,000,001 million euros but then Liverpool owner John Henry intervened and blocked the transfer. Henry tweeted ““What are they smoking over there at the Emirates?” on Arsenal’s efforts to sign Suarez

 

First Published | 26 September 2017 12:10 AM
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