Wenger admits latest regret in major transfer deal he failed to complete for Arsenal

In the 22 years he spent as Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger was known for a lot of things, one of which was the high number of quality players he almost signed for the Gunners. From Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Samuel Eto’o and Luis Suarez, to Yaya Toure, Anthony Martial, and Memphis Depay. Fans of the Gunners can add another name to that list now, after Wenger admitted he tried to bring Borussia Dortmund youngster, Jadon Sancho, to Arsenal.

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The former Gunners boss admitted that he tried to lure the youngster to London from Manchester City when he was still in charge at the Emirates Stadium. Now working as a pundit, Wenger claims he wanted to bring the England star to London from Manchester as the Frenchman saw the youngster as one of the best players of his generation. Sancho has turned into a star for Dortmund and England since making the jump to the Bundesliga in 2017 with his pace and willingness to run at and unsettle defenders, and Wenger claims that confidence was one of the things that caught his eye early on.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Former Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, speaks after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Leaders Sport Awards at the Natural History Museum on October 9, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images for Leaders)

“I wanted to sign him from Man City when he wasn’t getting games,” Wenger said on beIN Sports. “I tried to lure him because he is from London. I tried to get him to Arsenal. He is one of the best players of his generation. He can dribble, he has the arrogance. There is something in there that is part of the big players. You can call it confidence, belief, arrogance but it has to be there.”

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Wenger, who long had a reputation as a manager willing to turn to young players, also believes that the amount of money on offer to players like Sancho before they’ve earned it on the pitch could be hampering their drive to improve. “The pressure on these young boys from an early age is very big,” he said. “They get a lot of money before they have played games. It doesn’t improve the hunger index. It is a test because they are rich before they play.”

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With Wednesday’s match against Tottenham, Sancho became just the seventh English player to face an English side in the Champions League as a member of a non-British team, following the likes of David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Owen Hargreaves and Steve McManaman. Unfortunately for the Bundesliga side Sancho wasn’t able to produce any real magic against Spurs as three second half goals gave the Premier League side a 3-0 advantage heading into the return leg in Germany in March.

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Can you name other big name players Wenger missed out on signing for Arsenal?