The Top Ten Arsenal players that the club should regret selling…

Dan’s Top Ten Arsenal players that we should have kept by Dan Smith

Two of the most talked about issues regarding Arsenal this season has been the future of Ramsey and Ozil. Some sources suggest that Rambo was happy to sign a new contract, but it was Emery who told the club that the 250,000 shaken on, was a lot for a player who didn’t fit into his system.

It seems increasingly clear that our managers first choice this summer would be to also get Ozil off the wage bill. In the long term, our coach is gambling with his future by discarding two players popular with some Gooners.

Below, my I am listing my latest top 10 list that includes names we chose to let go and perhaps regretted. Names at the time who would have liked to stay, who we could have done more to keep, etc.

Any names I’m missing please put in comments. Please be nice to each other!

He knew when he joined he had to be patient for our famous back 4 to retire, but he seemed to lose faith that his day would come while his injury record hurt his chances. It seemed odd that we sold him once the likes of Adams and Keown retired. Upson’s best years came with Birmingham and West Ham which led to him playing for England at the 2010 World Cup. Would he have been any worse than a Senderos or Djourou? I think he would have been a better leader.

That Arsene Wenger would re-sign him years after letting him leave for free, shows you the Frenchman was in fact the closest thing we had to any kind of physicality in years. Very much a squad player wherever he’s been, what he lacked in ability he made up for in work rate. So many games we wouldn’t have been bullied in if we had his type of personality around. Yet in a sign of things to come, our board were indecisive in terms of offering him a new deal, at which point he was speaking to AC Milan.

Just to show you that Arsenal’s dithering in offering extensions isn’t a new thing. Edu was visibly emotional playing his last game at Highbury, especially when his teammates allowed him to take a penalty to mark the occasion with a rare goal. He wanted to stay but the club had left it so long to start any negotiations it had left him feeling undervalued. Essentially, he had been such a fringe player, our board were indecisive about what salary to offer him so waited too late in the day.

Don’t get me wrong Lukasz was given enough chances. It seemed the more pressurised the situation, the more likely be was to make a mistake. That suggests a weak mentality which would explain why he’s been better at Swansea and now West Ham, where you’re not demanded to win every week. Or is it a case the move to North London came too soon for him? If it was the other way around, he joined a mid-table side in England first, would we now view him a potential target?

Wojciech Szczesny
If Juventus rated the keeper so much, they were able to convince him to wait for Buffon’s exit, surely we could have done the same with Petr Cech? Remember the Pole grew up a gooner, yet we ended up selling him to Turin for just 10 million. The final straw for Arsene Wenger was his goalie caught smoking in Southampton’s showers, having just conceded 4 goals. Perhaps there’s more leadership at Turin where they demand certain standards? Either way, the loan to Serie A was meant to be for his development and that more thought should have been given to the long term rather then quickly taking the cash. In my opinion he’s better then Leno!

Sol Campbell
Anyone who’s read his autobiography will agree mentally Sol needed to get away from the limelight of London and he seemed to favour the pressure of Portsmouth, where there is less demand to win every week. If Harry Redknapp had the man manager ability to get the defender to lead his Pompey side to an FA Cup, surely an arm round the shoulder from Mr Wenger was worth a try? He would have been a better role model to youthful peers compared to Gallas? The fact Campbell would be re-signed years later by the Gunners was an admission they let him go too soon?

Robert Pires
One of the first ‘Invincibles’ to be forced out due to paying off the Emirates. The midfielder was so unhappy how his departure was handled it affected his close relationship with Arsene Wenger. On the week of the Champions League Final, Pires was hurt to learn the biggest game of his club career would be his last as a Gooner as the club put up little fight when Villarreal offered him a contract. He probably wouldn’t have been a guaranteed starter anymore, but our youthful squad would have benefited from having his experience around the place.

Serge Gnabry
Given how many chances he would give to other youngsters, it’s incredible Arsene Wenger would drop the ball with the young German. The turning point was after his breakthrough season he suffered a knee injury which clearly both parties had contrasting views on. A loan to West Brom was supposed to be part of his development but Tony Pulis was the wrong man to ask to give a flair player an education. The theory seemed to be if he couldn’t get a start at the Hawthorns, how would he get one at the Emirates, with the teenager not getting the assurances that the likes of Ramsey and Wilshire got when they suffered spells on the side-lines. He would easily walk into our midfield right now. Him or Iwobi?

Patrick Vieira
The irony being, Vieira leaving was an annual saga. The year we actually sold him was the one time the likes of Real Madrid were not interested. Our board viewed this as the last chance to get any value on our captain and, as we would learn, bringing in money was important due to the stadium debt. Paying off the Emirates was the reason the ‘Invincibles’ were splitting up in favour of a younger/cheaper squad. The emergence of Fabregas suggested this was good business, but we would miss out on silverware due to a lack of leadership and physicality. Have we ever replaced Viera?

He left Chelsea due to a lack of playing time, something he trusted Arsenal to give him due to their reputation of giving youth a chance. Given how many chances Mr Wenger would give players worse then his countryman, it seems crazy he let him go to Portsmouth without putting up a fight. How silly the Gunners and the Blues looked when Real Madrid were giving Pompey over 20 million for him. There we were looking for the new Vieira….

We had him, we just thought Denilson was better!


  1. gotanidea says:

    Good article. Based on your list, I wished Arsenal kept Szczesny, Diarra and Gnabry. Vieira, Pires and Campbell were in decline due to age at that time

    Now I want to see an article about top ten players Arsenal should regret keeping. If I were the author, I will put Mesut Ozil as the first one

    1. Eddie Hoyte says:

      Somehow, Someway you must always bring up reasons to bash and discuss Mesut Ozil, This is an article that’s pointing out an important discussion, but your genius self managed to drag Ozil into this discussion just to have people bash him..
      That’s pathetic truth be told

      1. Jaydawg says:

        ??? lmao you lot and Ozil for or against the Mr Ozil you all crack me up

  2. RSH says:

    Szcznesy needed to leave to mature. He’s one of the favorites that got away with far too much. He would not be as good as he is now if he stayed at Arsenal, so only thing I regret there is how cheaply we have him away.

  3. Eddie Hoyte says:

    The Gnabry move still baffles me.
    Before anyone give me the bullshít that he was injured, he was the better and possibly the best winger we had after Walcott started his whole “I wanna be a striker thing”.
    Gnabry never got a fair chance, even while he was with us before he got injured, Wenger would bench him and rather play Ramsey on the wings, yet the little times he played, he showed he was gonna be world class if handled properly.
    He got injured, returned, and how the club pointed out West Brom as the perfect club for him is astonishing considering the fact that Tony Pulis was their coach.
    I loved Gnabry and believed in him so much, I was hurt to see him leave.
    Right now will he walk into our first eleven??
    Yes he will by a far large margin.
    Man is replacing Robben at Munich, is a sure pick for the German national team.
    I still cringe when I watch him play at Bayern and I see everything we are missing

    1. ozzziegunner says:


    2. ahmad says:

      This is down to poor man management by Wenger. The Ox was not exactly pulling trees, but yet got chance after chance. Yet Gnabry was sent to work Pulis! Same reason we lost Diarra (and Wenger getting royally screwed by Flamoney at the end of that season!). What pisses me off is that we would have to pay upwards of 80MM to get players like Scezney (?) and Gnabry in today’s crazy market!

    3. I was discussing gnabry with my brother the other day. We wondered why as a club we don’t put buy back clauses in on the youngsters? (Yes I know we had first refusal on cesc, but other than that I can’t remember when). Is this just an arsenal thing or maybe a premier league thing? Would be interested to know people’s thoughts on the matter. Cheers gooners Paul

  4. Sue says:

    So Diaby has retired

    1. Malik says:

      Finally, I admired his resilience but the guy has been finished for a while. Jack should follow him too

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        Yeah Diaby should have retired about 7/8 years ago. I’ve never anyone to earn so well, from almost never playing! 28 appearances in the last 8 years.

  5. Malik says:

    Carlos vela was one thay I rated highly but arsene seemed to love bendtner more

    1. Goona says:

      Do not speak ill of the Lord

      1. Adey says:


  6. Midkemma says:

    I’ll agree that Fabianski and Szcz are painful losses.
    Wenger backed his staff to the hilt, even when they wasn’t good enough, Wenger shown loyalty when he should have been tough…

    Peyton ruined Fabianski and Szcz hasn’t been kind in his assessment of Peytons coaching, if we had Emery and his coaching staff then I think we would be laughing at how much other teams have spent on top GK while we had a pair of them on the cheap.

  7. Clive Conway says:

    Vela might have come good. And I always felt we should have tried to keep Benayoon after he played for us briefly.

    Clearly we could also have got more mileage out of Fabregas and Henry.

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    Of course there are so many different circumstances regarding player departures, some where the club as no choice but to sell, so there cannot be any regret in regards to those deals.

    The one that really got me was Hleb leaving. He may not have scored many, but by gum he was so important to the way we played. It’s nice to know he regretted leaving, because his career really went downhill not long after leaving us.

  9. arie82 says:

    Isnt gnarby reject new deal from arsenal after bayern want him, after see his performance with germany nt in olimpic or so

    1. Midkemma says:

      From what I remember.
      Gnabry wanted Wenger to give him playtime assurances, Wenger couldn’t justify it (after he was being moaned at for for Ramsey and Wilshere being injury prone) and wanted Gnabry to prove his fitness.

      The loan move to Pulis could have helped but who thought “Pulis, yeah, the right man!”????? That ended up working against us and Gnabry seen a better progression back in Germany… So why wait around and let Arsenal poor development send him to what… Big Sam next? 🙁

      I’m glad we are now looking at our loan moves as a club, we have some great gems and this progression in loan attention is exciting for me personally.

  10. Sergio says:

    Fabregas, Van Persie, Sanchez, Overmars, Petit, Cole, Sagna, Clichy?

  11. ForeverGooner says:

    I won’t regret losing Ozil if he leaves this summer.

    It wasn’t a huge surprise that Szczesny was an excellent Goalkeeper. While with Arsenal, he won the Premier league’s Golden Gloves with Cech. But Wenger thought he was getting a bargain at £10 mil and didn’t think much of the risk of his age or didn’t appreciate Szczesny enough or both.

    Gnabry I regret too.

    Most of the others were long time ago so don’t think about too much

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