Perhaps better known for the players he did not sign (Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi) rather than the top name players he has signed for Arsenal, the 66-year-old manager today at his press conference admitted that he had let another big star slip through his fingers after having failed to sign West Ham attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet.
The free-kick specialist has had a banner season for the Hammers, and Wenger admitted that he had known of the 29-year-old talents for some time prior to his arrival in the Premier League.
‘I looked at him many times. I’ve known him for a long, long time,’ Wenger said of the Hammers star.
‘He played a few years in St Etienne. He has all the attributes to be a top, top player. In fact he already is.’
This of course leads to the question of why a player who would on the face of it fit perfectly into an Arsenal starting XI was not signed by Wenger, and especially so now that Wenger has admitted he knew just how good he was, as his goal scoring form for the East London club has shown.