Arsenal’s African Players Number 1 – Christopher Wreh

To celebrate the start of the African Cup Of Nations I will be doing a review of the 16 Africans who have represented Arsenal in the Premiership. It’s a continent which has played a huge part in our history, with three members of our Invincibles from that part of the world.

I also encourage gooners to help me over the next few weeks identify any promising youngsters from the tournament who you would add to our shortlist.

This will be in order from when they arrived…

In 1997, Arsene Wenger’s first African signing for Arsenal was ……

Christopher Wreh – 1997-2000 played 43 scored 5.
Wreh is the cousin of George Weah, a former European Footballer of the year (and now the President of Liberia), so it was always a big ask to live up to his record. The striker is unique in the few goals he scored for us were all mostly crucial to our history. He scored the only goals against Wimbledon, Bolton and Wolves, part of our winning sequence in securing the Double in 1998. The fact Arsene Wenger would start him ahead of Ian Wright in the FA Cup Final highlights there was faith in the player (not to mention he signed him twice).

Our strike force meant there was little concern when he struggled to develop. Perhaps it was the importance of his goals that little was mentioned how his career declined. Rumours have ranged from poor weight, poor time keeping, even alcoholism, as reasons he never settled anywhere else. For example, in 18 months at St Mirren he played 57 minutes, Northampton tore up his contract after just 7 weeks, while clubs who did sign him found him not fit enough to feature. His fall from grace in Liberia came when he publicly criticised national hero Weah for making the country a one-man team. He has a better standing with the Lone Stars today, coaching the underage groups from 2014.

There’s a lot of clubs and coaches this man let down. Lots of owners with limited finances who trusted him only for him to not show up or when he did, show up double his weight as a teenager. Yet in North London he will always be fondly remembered for his contribution. He didn’t do a lot but what he did they proved to be very important. Therefore, there are individuals who scored far more goals then him who get more harshly criticised…

Dan Smith

15 Comments

  1. kev says:

    Arsenal will submit bid of £19 million + Jenkinson for Kieran Tierney.The club might also add Osei-Tutu on loan to sweeten the deal.

    The offer will be submitted on Monday

    1. LUIS says:

      KEV any news about the Fraser?

      1. kev says:

        We are interested in him but haven’t moved for him as he isn’t first choice

    2. ForeverGooner says:

      If true then
      ……£45 million
      minus £19 million for a LB
      ______________
      ……£26 million left for CB, Winger and Central Midfielder

      I don’t think a LB is more important than a CB, Winger or CM

      We will need to sell or trade Mustafi, Xhaka, Mkhitaryan, Elneny etc

      1. McLovin says:

        Mustafi needs the axe. So does Xhaka and Özil. Mkhitaryan too but the 3 aforementioned need to go first and foremost.

        I wish we would be after Hector Herrera. He’s free and great engine for the mmidfield.

      2. kev says:

        Firstly, from a very reliable Twitter source our budget is around £70m And not actually £45m.
        Secondly, we will pay agreed fee in instalments.We won’t pay all upfront.Clubs do this all the time just that it isn’t usually stated

    3. Thomaskelly says:

      Kev you or full of s..t that won’t happen

      1. kev says:

        Well we will see about that!

  2. dotash says:

    Kev Kev Kev

  3. Luis says:

    I was impressed by zimbabwean CAMA BILLIAT who plays his football in South Africa.

  4. Sue says:

    Nice idea for articles, Dan Smith ?

    1. Phil says:

      Wreath scored some important goals in the 97-98 double winning years.Away at Bolton and Wimbledon he scored in both games that were 1-0 wins.He also scored the only goal in the FA Cup Semi-Final v Wolves.Ian Wright was injured a fair bit that season and when fit he couldn’t get his place back from Wreh,only coming on as a sub when we beat Newcastle in the FA Cup Final and leaving for West Ham the following season as it was obvious Anelka and Bergkamp were the two main strikers.
      Wreh was never in Wrighty’s class and was only really a squad player and I’ve no idea where he ended up but he seemed to disappear as quickly as he arrived.

  5. snowden says:

    For me this article is a breath of fresh air from all the rumour player nonsense that seems to have taken over.

    The subject is perfect for the close season and I look forward to learning about the other 15 players. Thank you. 🙂

    1. Admin Martin says:

      We do far fewer rumours than most Arsenal fan sites and the rumours we do focus on are the ones we think may be credible, most we do not actually cover, certainly not to the degree that others do. We have to stay relevant.

  6. Ingleby says:

    Good idea to create a post series on this subject. Interesting and informative ?

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