Wenger regrets not signing Chelsea player during his time as Arsenal boss

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Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he regrets missing out on the opportunity to re-sign French striker Nicolas Anelka when he had the chance in 2008.

Anelka had a spell with the Gunners between 1996-99 before moving on to Real Madrid, but he became available again in 2008 while at Bolton Wanderers.

Wenger considered a swoop for Anelka but the striker went on to join Chelsea, where he scored 59 goals over five seasons and won a Premier League and two FA Cups.

Photo: Getty images

Speaking about the player to The Tuesday Club podcast, Wenger admitted: “Maybe (it was the wrong decision). He wanted to come back. Maybe it was a mistake.

“I felt that they would then have a hesitation to leave. I didn’t give them the feeling of ‘ok I go somewhere else, I try it and if it doesn’t work I come back’.

“That’s why I didn’t do it and overall maybe I should have done it. Nicolas still scored in 125 games overall in the Premier League I think, something like that, so he could have helped us.”

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