Arsene Wenger has revealed to The Tuesday Club podcast that he regrets not re-signing Nicolas Anelka in 2008 when the Frenchman became available.
Anelka had a stint at Arsenal earlier on between 1996-99 before he left the Gunners to join Real Madrid.
He would later have a journeyman career that would see him return to England.
In 2008, he was starring for Bolton and he was topping the scoring charts. He wanted to return to Arsenal and Wenger was still the club’s manager at the time, but the Frenchman turned down the chance to sign his compatriot and Anelka moved to Chelsea.
He won the Premier League with the Blues and he scored more than 50 goals for them.
Wenger has now revealed that he probably should have signed Anelka again seeing that the striker scored a lot of goals at Chelsea.
He, however, claimed that he wanted to use the situation to send a message to the other players that if they ever left the club, then there is no way back for them.
“Maybe (it was the wrong decision)!” Wenger said. “He wanted to come back. Maybe it was a mistake.
“I wanted to give the signal to the players that once you left the club there is no way back.
“I felt that they would then have a hesitation to leave. I didn’t give them the feeling of ‘ok I go somewhere else, I try it and if it doesn’t work I come back’.
“That’s why I didn’t do it and overall maybe I should have done it. Nicolas still scored in 125 games overall in the Premier League I think, something like that, so he could have helped us.”