On this day in 1999, Arsenal football club changed forever. Following the departure of a promising Nicolas Anelka, we would’ve been forgiven for being fearful about our future.
What followed was a stroke of genius from Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman called on his former player from Monaco who was being misused in Turin after his ‘big’ move to Juventus.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 3, 2015
That man was Thierry Henry, whose achievements with us do not need to be regurgitated, nor given any further superlatives. The man’s name has become a brand.
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Whether he’s Wenger’s best ever signing for us would be hard to argue against, but we’ve delved into the history books to see who else stars alongside Henry in this XI.
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Here is an XI of Wenger’s best ever signings.
GK) Jens Lehmann
While Petr Cech certainly deserves a mention, our summer signing needs to achieve some silverware with us before he usurps Lehman in this team.
The German was a key member of the best Premier League team in history and was also our FA Cup hero 2005.
However, his best campaign came in the 2005/06 season when Lehmann almost single-handedly guided us to the Champions League final.
Again, Bacary Sagna can feel aggrieved not to be in this side given his loyal and consistent service throughout his eight-year stay here.
However, Lauren was equally reliable and his trophy cabinet made for very pleasant reading despite only being with us for six years.
The former Cameroon international won two league titles and three FA Cups.
CB) Sol Campbell
One of the most controversial signings in Arsene Wenger’s history, snatching Spurs’ prodigal son and academy star on a free cemented Wenger’s heroic status.
Campbell can realistically be included in any Premier League XI such was his stature in the game.
The first player from the current squad to make into the team, Koscielny’s inclusion is as a result of both his excellent qualities and very evident mitigations.
Signing central defenders has never been Wenger’s strong point and other than Campbell and Koscielny, it’s difficult to name another player of note who has arrived in that position bar Kolo Toure.
LB) Gael Clichy
While the boss gave Ashley Cole his debut, he can’t necessarily be considered as a signing which means that Clichy will earn a spot in the side.
Clichy was often consistent but dropped his level considerably during the final few years of his career with us.