In Arsene Wenger’s very long career as Arsenal manager, he saw well over 500 players wearing the famous Red & White, and we can never forget the period when he was forced to sell all his best players to finance our debt on building the Emirates.
So, having sold some undoubtedly excellent players like Sami Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie to name but a few, you may be surprised that the one Arsenal player he regrets selling the most was the young Frenchman Nicolas Anelka. Wenger said in an interview alongside David Dein when talking about his selling spree: ‘Yes, we used the Arsene Wenger card and players wanted to go to where they would win. My biggest regret and shame is that Anelka left. He could have been special, instead he played for 13 clubs.’
I am very surprised that he regrets that sale, as “Le Sulk” made Arsenal £22.5million profit when he was sold to Real Madrid, with which we bought Thierry Henry and reportedly paid for our new state-of-the-art traing facility at London Colney.
And, to be honest, Anelka hardly developed to become one of the world’s best, in fact he ended up being just another mercenary player, like Adebayor, who would go to whichever team would pay him the most wages. He would go on to feature for 13 clubs in his career, including stints at Liverpool (on loan from PSG), Man City, Bolton, Chelsea and West Brom…