Wenger’s most expensive mistakes!
The news that Mesut Ozil could be out of action until January because of a knee injury is the latest in a long line of setbacks for the 25-year-old. The injury was not picked up by Arsenal but by Germany when the former Real Madrid star reported for international duty. There will be plenty of international football betting opportunities this week as the Euro 2016 qualifiers continue. It is beginning to look as though the £42.5million Arsene Wenger paid Real Madrid to snap up Ozil less than 14 months ago was money badly spent.
The disappointment many Gunners fans feel about Ozil is not so much the hefty transfer fee or even the fact that he was so good in Spain, but that his form has fallen off a cliff after he made such an encouraging start to life in north London. The club record signing may still come good but the feeling is that Ozil does not suit life in the Premier League and he may be on his way in the summer. That means he will have to be considered alongside the following as Wenger’s biggest flops during the Frenchman’s 18-year stay at the club.
Ozil’s career is following a very similar path to that of the creative Russian who joined Arsenal for a then club record fee of £15million to great fanfare after impressing for his country at Euro 2008.
He was brilliant at first – who could forget that memorable game when he scored all four of the Gunners’ goals in the 4-4 draw against Liverpool in April 2009 – but the talented midfielder seemed to lose interest very quickly.
Towards the end of his time with the club, he was a peripheral figure and it was often a surprise to discover he was still contracted to the club until he finally left in the summer of 2013 and returned to Zenit St Petersburg.
Jose Antonio Reyes
Wenger spent a whopping £10.5million on Reyes in January 2004 but it quickly became apparent that the former Sevilla star was suffering from a severe case of homesickness. He did score some important goals but perhaps will best be remembered for becoming only the second player to be sent off in an FA Cup final. Reyes was shown a red card in the victory against Manchester United in 2005 before eventually being sold to Atletico Madrid. His career went into free-fall and he is now back at Sevilla where he is still failing to impress.
Wenger famously bought his ‘Fox In The Box’ for £8million 13 years ago after Jeffers, then still only 20, had been prolific for Everton. But it turned out to be a disaster as Jeffers managed just four goals in 22 appearances for Arsenal before being jettisoned. After spells in Australia and Malta, Jeffers was last spotted playing for Accrington Stanley, although it seems that he was keen to sign for a club in Brunei.