OTP revisits some of the transfers that the country’s largest clubs would rather forget…
10. Jermaine Pennant
Although Pennant has established himself as a half-decent Premier League winger with Liverpool and Stoke, his time at Arsenal was blighted by a series of personal problems. Arsenal paid £2million for a 15-year-old, and were left with an electronically tagged youth who was eventually released for no fee.
9. Per Mertesacker
Although the German hasn’t been dreadful, for a fee of £10million (that’s the same as Vermaelen and Henry) fans thought they were getting the rock to shore up their defence. Instead, he looked criminally slow last season at times at Arsenal, although he did have games where he started to impress.
8. Mikael Silvestre
Sent to Arsenal as a Special Agent by Manchester United? Certainly Arsenal fans were treated to a series of dreadful displays, and United would not have allowed the defender to move to a rival if they thought he had anything to offer. He was well past his best, and left on a free to Werder Bremen.
He would feature much higher up this list if Wenger somehow hadn’t managed to make a profit on the striker, selling him for £3million to Marseille. A striker who made 15 appearances for Arsenal and never actually managed to score. Not exactly impressive.
6. Chris Kiwomya
Joined Arsenal from Ipswich in 1995 as one of George Graham’s last signings, and stunk the place out. He cost £1.25million, stayed for four seasons and only scored three league goals in that period. Funnily enough, Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright started ahead of him, and Kiwomya joined QPR on a free transfer in 1998.
Despite a decent start to his Arsenal career after a £1.35million move from his native Latvia, Stepanovs was murdered by Manchester United and his confidence seemed to drain from that moment onwards. The centre-back played just 17 games in three seasons for the Gunners, before leaving on a free transfer to the Belgian second division.
Dreadful hair, dreadful goal record at the club, massive transfer fee. While Marouane Chamakh has been poor, he at least joined on a free transfer, which is dwarfed by the £10million paid for the Ivorian. He scored just four Premier League goals last season, and will be phased out next season following the arrivals of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.
3. Sebastien Squillaci
He cost Arsenal £4million, and just doesn’t look like a Premier League centre-back in any way, shape or form. Error-prone, slow and displaying a lack of concentration, the amazing thing is that the Frenchman has played for Lyon and Sevilla (actually looking good) and has played more than 20 times for his country.
Wright was the natural choice for the future of England’s goalkeeping position when he left Ipswich for Arsenal in 2001 for around £6million. Highbury was pretty much his graveyard. As David Seaman got an injury, Wright got his chance… and promptly lost his place to Stuart Taylor. After only one season at Arsenalm Wright was sold to Everton. Now 34, has recently signed for Preston in League One.
1. Francis Jeffers
Ahhh, the Fox in the Box. Jeffers is pretty much the reason why Wenger prefers to do his shopping on the continent. Signed from Everton in 2001 whilst aged only 20, Jeffers commanded a fee of £8million. Unfortunately for the young Scouser ,he was forced to compete with Wiltord, Henry and Bergkamp for a place in the Arsenal side. Cost the club £2million per goal, and was finally put out of his misery with a move to Charlton. Then failed to score goals at Rangers, Blackburn, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle Jets and Motherwell. Woeful stuff.
Have we missed your favourite worst Arsenal signing? Let us know below.