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Arsène Wenger names Ronaldo & Chelsea icon as players he most regrets not signing

Arsène Wenger names Ronaldo & Chelsea icon as players he most regrets not signing

Ronaldo & Kante; the two that got away

There is perhaps no name more synonymous with Arsenal Football Club than Arsène Wenger.

A legend in every sense of the word, the Strasbourg-born managerial icon carved out a 22-year period in north London that firmly cemented his place in Premier League lore for all time. But even legends can make mistakes. A few of them, actually.

Arsene Wenger celebrates v Manchester City

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal celebrates his team’s 2-1 victory at the final whistle during the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images,)

In a YouTube interview for LADbible TV, to promote the documentary “Arsène Wenger – Invincible“, Wenger sat down alongside Arsenal great and former pupil Ian Wright and fielded questions from the SPORTbible audience in a fans ask questions segment regarding his time in north London.

Wenger was asked which player he regrets not signing the most, to which he responded with THAT answer;

“Certainly Cristiano Ronaldo. I thought it was possible, and if we had been a fraction quicker…a few days because we had agreed and Man United came in 5-6 days later.

I would say at the start of my career; Cristiano Ronaldo. At the end of my career; N’Golo Kanté.”

Arsène Wenger names Ronaldo & Chelsea icon as players he most regrets not signing

MOSCOW – MAY 21: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (C) smiles with Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United after the UEFA Champions League Final match between Manchester United and Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium on May 21, 2008 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

It is not the first time that Wenger has eluded to the missed opportunity that would have been Ronaldo at Highbury, while the chance to sign Kanté was bypassed in favor of Granit Xhaka in a decision that many supporters question to this day.

Wenger reveals who his best-ever signing was

Mistakes aside, Arsène Wenger signed a number of brilliant players during his time at Arsenal that truly helped elevate the club to another level. The likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars, Kolo Touré, Sol Campbell, Freddie Ljungberg, Emmanuel Petit, and many others come to mind. But who was the one that stood out the most for the Alsatian headmaster?

Wright: Who was the best signing you made throughout your career?

Wenger: We start very difficult. You know I made a few good signings…maybe the best – I would not say the best but maybe the signing that gave me credit because I arrived together with him was Patrick Vieira. After, you know of course, people say Thierry Henry. But of course Theirry Henry as well was an unbelievable signing but I came here unknown and Patrick – as was said many times – ‘we don’t know this guy but he brings good players.’

Arsène Wenger names Ronaldo & Chelsea icon as players he most regrets not signing

LONDON – FEBRUARY 1: Patrick Vieira and Francesc Fabregas of Arsenal look dejected as Manchester win 2-4 in the Barclays Premiership match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Highbury on February 1, 2005 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)

Wright: That’s the thing ’cause when you came boss, people were saying ‘Arsène who?’ And then when Patrick started to play – like you mentioned – then they said ‘well, it doesn’t matter ’cause he knows what he is doing.

Wright: I have got to say…if I am totally honest…for me…seeing Nicolas Anelka when he came and started training with us boss, makes you realize your time is short.

Wenger: It’s funny you say that because I had just had lunch with Rio Ferdinand today and he said ‘Arsène, Arsène, you had such good teams but the guy that impressed me the most is Nicolas Anelka. He said I could not keep up with him in the first ten yards, and that’s why when I saw you last night scoring a goal so fast I thought ‘I came too late for you…to get the best of you.’ And it’s true that after you face a guy like Anelka, it’s difficult.

It is hard to argue that Patrick Vieira was not the best-ever signing Arsène Wenger made during his more than two decades at Arsenal.

Unknown to almost everyone in England at the time of his arrival from AS Monaco for £3.5 million, he would spend nine seasons at the club, make a combined 406-appearances, win three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, become half of an era-defining bitter rivalry with Manchester United’s Roy Keane, and help change the midfield landscape in the Premier League forever.


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Man Utd vs Arsenal odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Man Utd vs Arsenal Full time result
Man Utd
19/20
Draw
11/4
Arsenal
11/4
Man Utd vs Arsenal Result/Both teams score Yes No
Man Utd 13/5 13/5
Arsenal 11/2
Draw 7/2 12/1
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Man Utd
Arsenal
Man Utd vs Arsenal Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Cristiano Ronaldo13/8 13/8 10/11
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang12/5 12/5 13/8
Alexandre Lacazette3/1 3/1 2/1
Marcus Rashford10/3 10/3 2/1
Eddie Nketiah7/2 7/2 9/4

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 12 26 29
2 Liverpool FC 13 28 28
3 Manchester City 12 19 26
4 West Ham United 12 9 23
5 Arsenal FC 13 -2 23
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 0 20
7 Tottenham Hotspur 12 -6 19
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 13 -2 18
9 Manchester United 12 -1 17
10 Crystal Palace 13 0 16
11 Aston Villa 13 -3 16
12 Everton FC 12 -3 15
13 Leicester City 12 -5 15
14 Southampton FC 13 -7 14
15 Brentford FC 12 -1 13
16 Watford FC 12 -4 13
17 Leeds United 13 -8 12
18 Burnley FC 12 -6 9
19 Norwich City 13 -20 9
20 Newcastle United 13 -14 6

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 5
King, Joshua Watford FC 5
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Raphinha Leeds United 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5
James, Reece Chelsea FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 4
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 4
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 4
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 4
Benteke, Christian Crystal Palace 4
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 4
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 4
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 4