The Top Ten Unsellable Arsenal Deadwood of the Wenger era….

Arsenal’s transfer window closes in a week. As much as gooners are excited about the arrival of Pepe, they assumed there might have been more outgoings. The likes of Mustafi, Jenkinson, etc.There are a lot of players deemed not good enough, but because of their wages hard to sell. My research shows me this is nothing new.

So, here is my top 10 Arsenal Deadwood….

Almunia (9 years)

Not just did the Spaniard have no business being at our club for a decade, the fact he spent a portion of it as our number 1 highlights Arsene Wenger’s blind spot over the position. Our keeper seemed mentally weak, affected by big pressure. Many gooners feel that if we had a different goalie, we would have won a title in this era. One of those being Jens Lehman.

Nicklas Bendtner (9 years)

Wouldn’t have been as unpopular without his arrogant boasts. The closest he came to be living up to his self-hype was 12 goals in the 2009/2010 season. Arsenal Wenger though lost patience after a string of incidents, including being pictured smoking, partying and crashing fast cars. Loan spells at Sunderland and Juventus led to just 8 goals, meaning we were unable to sell him and had to wait for his contract to run down. To his credit he still contributed with strikes against Cardiff and Hull, but it was greeted with chants of,’ He only scores if your ……’.

Diaby (9 years)
Arsene Wenger showed great faith in Diaby where others wouldn’t, believing he could become the next Viera. The midfielder tore the ACL in his left knee in February 2013. Despite this he was given a contract extension as a show of faith that he could regain fitness. In truth, his career had been plagued by injuries for years. He played 13 games in his final 4 years .

Denilson (8 years)
Was part of a young Arsenal squad who needed experience to support team, too often we would prove to be mentally fragile once things started to go against us. You could never accuse the Brazilian of a lack of effort, but fans grew frustrated with his lack of physicality and side way passing. He asked for a return to Brazil but no one from his homeland could afford his wages. It meant for two years we were supporting his salary so he could get his wish.

Senderos (7 years)
Ironically Senderos’s best games for us seemed to come in the more high-pressured scenarios, such as Inter Milan away or in the FA Cup Final. Yet he didn’t have the mentality or concentration skills to perform consistently. The confidence he had built up was ruined by Drogba who bullied him to such an extent Arsene Wenger no longer trusted him. He couldn’t sell him though due to a huge pay rise he had been given so in his final two years was loaned out.

Joel Campbell (7 years)
Out of 6 of 7 seasons we were paying this man to tour Europe, not what the loan system was intended for. Originally no one’s fault, as it took a few years to get a work permit. When he finally did get his chance he was just as good as a Walcott or the Ox yet was sent back out on loan.

Grimandi (5 years)
Don’t get me wrong all title winning teams need a Grimandi, someone who’s a utility man, will do the basics before giving the ball to his more talented peers. He had a lot of qualities our current squad lack. Yet there’s no denying he was technically not as good as his teammates. A classic example of a player happy to be a fringe player at a big club with no offers made for him, just seeing out his contract.

John Jensen (4 years)
It was almost like his entire move to Highbury was based on his famous strike in the Euro 92 Final. Became famous for his inability to repeat the feat with his only goal for us prompting the famous ‘I was there’ shirt. More serious, he was part of the scandal that saw George Graham banned from football, the allegations being that the Dane was only brought because our manager was paid to do so.

Oleg Luzhny (4 years)
Was brought based on a display against us at Wembley when he destroyed us out wide. When he moved to England it was like his pace had vanished. While you couldn’t question his professionalism, he was at an age where the physical nature of our League was too much. Very soon Arsene Wenger was buying other back up options to Lee Dixon leaving the Ukrainian our third choice right back.

Chamakh (4 years)
Started Arsenal life on fire but confidence vanished once Van Persie returned from injury. Didn’t have the mentality to cope with being asked to make an impact off the bench. For Arsene Wenger to give up on a player after one year tells you something, but because of his wages, for his final three years we were paying him to go on loan to West Ham, then Palace.

Anyone older think of anyone else please put in comments.

Dan Smith


  1. Happy New month Fam!!
    It’s August!! When you know Football is back alongside power and the first thing u hear is they say this is a big rich townnnnnnnn!!!

  2. Dan Smith, Are you not going to add Xhaka and Mustafi?
    Hell I’d take Senderos over Mustafi if you put into the consideration the attackers Senderos Faced.
    Senderos wasn’t consistent but he wasn’t causing silly errors and giving away fouls and penalties like he’s some football Santa Claus

      1. He was bought for ca. 3 mil, spent 5 ys in the team, then was loaned out to Milan and Everton (which apparently covered much of the transfer cost). He was really decent around 2006. You can’t call deadwood someone who actually contributes. I can understand doing that to Gervinho, cause he both cost more and delivered less.

        1. Senderos decent around 2006? I can only conclude that your interpretation of “decent” is the polar opposite from mine! Senderos was a clumsy, not remotely good enough, in fact woefully inadequate, so called CB for his whole Arsenal “career”! Even wood that is dead has many uses so perhaps on reflection you are right in saying he was not dead wood. He was not as good as dead wood!

          1. Don’t you remember him and sol Campbell partnership. It was great. They kept so many clean sheets together.

  3. Before ppl start to criticize the article of attacking our most succesful manager/crying over spilled milk, let me quickly add, that everyone makes mistakes, every team sing very very bad player at some point.
    The least is endless maybe i should add Asano, Park chu

  4. John Jensen? Really? Deadwood from the Wenger era? 😀
    Luzhny and Grimandi were useful squad players, and both contributed enough to justify respectful treatment.
    Meanwhile, Campbell, Senderos, and even Chamakh were all shipped away without much fuss. Both Campbell, and especially Senderos actually gave us a number of reliable performances, too.
    So, that leaves just 4 men: Almunia, who, as you say, survived so long thanks only to Wenger’s inability to recognise bad keepers; Diaby, who spent 2/3 of his career crocked after the call centre massacre; and Bendtner and Denilson, two kids who got too much money too early and stopped trying. Bringing them to the club cost peanuts. Diaby actually looked like a real gem before he lost his leg. And the kids were decent before the paycheck got too big.
    All in all, not much of a basis for criticising Wenger’s transfer policy…
    Now, what about Jeffers, Squillaci, Gervinho, Santos, Park? Y’know, players who cost real money and were hard to get rid of?

      1. Then it makes it super-weird that the only player from pre-Wenger years in the piece is Jensen. There’s quite a few Grahamites that would fit just as well, if not better.

  5. We were somehow able to ship out Gervinho very quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever had a player be so frustrating to watch.

  6. Park,Sqillacci,Aliadiere,Eboue,Djouou,Gibbs,Santos.and Sanogo all outstayed their welcome due to their over generous wages..Currently without considering Xhaka,Mustafi and Iwobi nobody would want to pay Jenkinson,Miki,Elneny,Kolasinac and of course Ozil anything approaching their current well as a market value transfer fee.

    1. Aliadiere? The man who almost never played, cost nothing, and earned very little? Gibbs, our regular LB, a very decent academy product who left for almost 7 mil? 😀 Be real, man!

      1. On one thing we agree; Gibbs. He was far from great but was a reliably half decent LB for a long spell. No way was he deadwood! He even played for England. Senderos, in spite of your strange view of his so called “ability,” was dreadful but not Gibbs.

        1. Senderos cost virtually nothing and was decent for at least 1 season. The problem with him wasn’t that he was so bad, but that there weren’t enough better players to push him out.

    1. No, its bad
      He is towering cb who have pace and agility, good strenght, header and marking, decent dribble, pass.
      The weekness is he too agresive for cb, seem he like run to the front line whatever he can, similiar like david luis

      1. I read that the club have concerns over his injury record which is why they are letting him go….. 10 mill with 35% sell on clause is what I’ve seen reported…. Decent enough bit of business if so imo

  7. What’s amazing is just how long they were all at the club, let alone all the other deadwood not mentioned as well. The majority of these players would have never even bought by top clubs, and certainly wouldn’t last that long if they had been.

  8. Diaby would have been world class had it not been for the reckless tackle on him so even though he was injured there is no way he can be classed as deadwood .
    I would definitely add Iwobi as the top one though that wenger couldn’t get rid of .

  9. You’re such a good writer that you include a George Graham player who never played under Wenger in an article about Wenger era players!

    1. I accept total responsiblity for the title.I didn’t think Dan was old enough to rememer pre-Wenger players, but I didn’t want to give the impression we were talking about deadwood currently at the club.

  10. Bielik £10m about being sacrificed to fund Tierney transfer to Arsenal won’t be a bad business on the surface. But unfortunate for Bielik who never saw how the light of day look like even for once in the Premier League for Arsenal throughout his 4 years staying at Emirates Stadium. But I hope Arsenal inserted a buying back clause for Derby or first refusal on his sale in future for Derby too.

    1. Ive only read we put a sell-on clause in. I forgot what the percentage was. Might come back to bite us, might not. At least we aren’t giving him away for pennies like Gnabry.

  11. Aliadi oh dear and Yaya Sir no goals were my favs.

    Wenger signed three Japanese players, and I’m not sure they had a match between them.

    Shared a road with Bendtner in his Aston once. Drove like he played… all arrogance and power, no skill. Wasnt surprised when he totalled it a couple of weeks later….

  12. Take the Grimster off the list – Legend! 😛 and Jensen had nothing to do with Wenger. Plenty of others to choose from.

  13. for me the very worst player signed by the frenchman was igor stepanovs. the player had nothing going for him .

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