In an interview with LAD Bible, Arsene Wenger has offered interesting insights during his long-running spell at Arsenal by answering interesting questions from fans online.
Appointed way back in 1996, Wenger was in charge of Arsenal for almost 22 years before he stepped down at the end of the 2017/18 campaign. During his long spell in North London, Wenger managed a total of 1224 games, helping the club win three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and seven Community Shields.
Over the years, the Frenchman played a key role in developing a multitude of footballing superstars including Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas, Mesut Ozil and Freddie Ljungberg, among many others.
In the interview, hosted by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright, Wenger was asked about the best signing he has ever made in his career and the 72-year-old certainly had an interesting response.
“I’ve made a few good signings, and I’d say the best, well perhaps not the best, but the signing who gave me credit because I arrived at the same time as him, was Patrick Vieira.
“You have people who will say, Thierry Henry. Of course, Henry as well was an unbelievable signing, but I came here unknown and Patrick, as I said many times, a lot of people thought who was this guy, but at least he brings good players”, said Wenger, referring to how the instant success of Vieira was essential in helping him build a solid portfolio at Arsenal.
Vieira joined Arsenal in 1996, for a fee of €5 million. He remained in North London for nine years, making almost 400 appearances and being a crucial member of the famous “invincible” team from the 2003/04 campaign. He left Arsenal in 2005, joining Juventus in a deal worth €20 million. In fact, only Theo Walcott (397) has played in more games under Arsene Wenger than Patrick Vieira (393). Thierry Henry rounds up the top three 378 matches under the Frenchman.
Arsene Wenger is currently serving as the Director of Football Development for FIFA since November 2019. He was one of the first proponents of the two-year World Cup scheme that has dominated the discourse in the footballing world in recent years.