With the number of transfer failures that Arsène Wenger has witnessed in his coaching career, and owing to the fact that he is said to have an eye for young talents, it will not be out of place to say that the best job for the Frenchman is to now become Arsenal’s director of football.
Arsene Wenger has revealed on several occasions in interviews that he missed out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo when he was younger. Wenger said that he scouted the Portuguese and recognised his talents, but when he enquired about a possible transfer, Sporting CP offered him the youngster for a few thousand euros.
In his characteristic way of not spending large amounts on players, he turned down the deal. Manchester United later came for Ronaldo at an amount than what was offered to Arsenal, but they got a whole lot of value from him, taking them to numerous trophies, winning the Ballon d’Or and fetching them a world-record transfer fee.
Wenger’s next mistake was with Didier Drogba. Wenger has never failed to admit the mistake he made in not signing Drogba from Marseille when he was supposed to. In fact, it seemed as if his interest in the Ivorian was what opened the door for other managers to recognise his talent. He again backtracked because the striker would cost a cool £25 million. Jose Mourinho later pounced on the striker and he went on to change Chelsea forever. With the Gunners’ style of football over the last decade, they have lacked a striker as clinical as Drogba.
Juan Mata was relatively unknown to the British game until Wenger started scouting and inquiring about him. The same issue about willpower happened again as Wenger backtracked, only for Chelsea to snare him before he was sold to United.
The newest kid on the block is Kylian Mbappé. The 18-year-old Monaco player is so gifted that few doubt his promise. He has been very consistent with Monaco over the past year, scoring 18 goals in 19 starts this season. He has also risen on the big occasions whenever it is time. He had a blistering Champions League experience, scoring six goals in six starts. The Championship Betting Odds 2017 favoured him to score in the return leg against Juventus, which he duly managed.
Following long-running speculation that Arsenal want to sign the French forward, Wenger had this to say: “The player would tell you that I was at his home last year to try to get him here because he was at the end of [his] contract, but Monaco managed to keep him and the decision was very, very tight.”
Now that Monaco have given Mbappé a new contract and increased his transfer fee, Wenger is urging the player not to move to another club this summer but to remain in Monaco so that he can come and get him next season.
“Can Arsenal get him? I don’t know, that’s down to him. You know certainly as I do that today he will decide where he goes. So I don’t know what are his deep aspirations, but maybe the best thing for him is to stay one more year at Monaco.”
Not getting Mbappé would be another mistake poorly made by the Frenchman.