5 worst signings Arsene Wenger made at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger

Now let me say that this are the 5 worst signings in more modern era, so there isn’t a place for players like Francis Jeffers, Richard Wright, and some similar. This 5 players have all been bought in more recent times and were all really bad.

So lets start with the number 5 of the worst signings Arsene Wenger made …

5. Marouane Chamakh

Chamakh came to Arsenal in 2010 as a replacement for ever injured Van Persie. Although he came for free, he was anything but, because he got himself a very decent paycheck every week. His start seemed promising, and everything looked like another classical Wenger signings. You know, a cheap quality.

Well when Van Persie came to health at the end of that year, Chamakh form dropped completely, and was never to be seen again. Van Persie became the key striker for the next year and a half, while Chamakh had difficulty getting on the bench at the time. Its hard to say, just what went wrong with Chamakh after a good start, but I guess he just wasn’t cut out for Arsenal.


Eventually Chamakh went on loan to West Ham, where he didn’t play at all, and finally transferring to Crystal Palace. Chamakh played more at Crystal Palace, but has scored only 7 Premier League goals in 2 seasons for the club (he scored one more for Arsenal at the same time).


Marouane Chamakh is definitely one of the worst buys Arsene Wenger ever made, because he had quite a reputation in France, but failed completely at Arsenal.

4. Andre Santos

Santos was bought right after that terrible game with Manchester United, which Arsenal lost 8-2. In a way, Santos was a panic buy, and he certainly didn’t look like a perfect player for Premier League. Frankly he looked like he had a pound or two too much in his belly, but his performances were quite impressive at the start.

Santos was bought for €7 million at the time, but had one terrible weakness, DEFENDING. Andre was very good going forward (scoring one excellent goal against Chelsea), but he was really bad in defense. A defender isn’t a good defender, if he can’t defend properly. I mean what is the point of being a defender, if you can’t defend.


Wenger did try to move him forward, but Santos wasn’t that good going forward, so the only sensible way was to move him onwards after a year and a half to Brazil. Like Chamakh, Santos didn’t have a time of his life in Brazil, he was even attacked by a fan for playing poorly. After Brazil, he went to India for 6 months, but returned to Brazil afterward.


Andre Santos is definitely one of the worst buys Arsene Wenger ever made, because he was, more or less, a panic buy, or in another words, poker game going bad for “Le Professeur”.

3. Mikael Silvestre

Silvestre is one of the weirdest buys Wenger ever made. Wenger bought Silvestre from Manchester United, which made him one of rare players to make a direct transfer from United to Arsenal. Silvestre was, at the time of Arsenal transfer, badly out of form, and rarely played for United in the past two seasons.


Wenger bought, Mikael Silvestre on a free transfer, as a backup for Arsenal defense. Given the injury problems at Arsenal, It wasn’t long before Silvestre started playing first team football for Arsenal. Silvestre quickly showed, just why he couldn’t play for Manchester United anymore. He was slow, and out of form, and made Arsenal defense a laughing stock in Premier League.


Silvestre managed to stay at Arsenal for two seasons before moving to Werder Bremen in Germany. Even Germans complained that Silvestre was horrible out of form, and regretted the fact that they signed him. He later moved to MLS for one season, and Indian League after that, where he finally retired.


Mikael was one of the worst signings Arsene Wenger made, due to being totally out of form, and shouldn’t been bought even for a back up. The next player to move between these two clubs proved to be a very different story.

2. Sebastien Squillaci

Wenger bought, than 30-year old, Squillaci for around £4 million in 2010. Fans were actually quite happy with this transfer, because Squillaci had international experiences (well, he had experiences). Some were even suggesting that Squillaci might became one of the best Wenger buys.

Well Squillaci definitely brought something to Arsenal, not experience though, but constant clangers and mistakes. He literary became the worst defender Arsenal ever had. I mean whenever Squillaci was in defense, terrible things happened. He was like the focal point of everything bad happening in Arsenal defense.

Squillaci ended up playing 3 seasons for Arsenal. He played quite a lot in the first season, but managed only 1 league game in the next two seasons. The only surprising thing about Squillaci at Arsenal was that he didn’t leave sooner.
Life after Arsenal, has been quite good for Squillaci, because he has signed for Bastia in France, and is an important part of first team in that club. Although Squillaci wasn’t expensive, he still floundered spectacularly at Arsenal, and is one of the worst buys Arsene Wenger ever made.

1. Park Chu-Young

The worst of the worst has to be Park Chu-Young. He was bought after United fiasco in the league, and was considered a panic buy, and actually was a panic buy. Although he was almost signed by Lille in France, Arsenal stepped in and made the deal.

Park was signed for about €7 million, and probably had the highest expectations on him from all the players I have mentioned in this post. I mean, he was 26 at the time, with very strong physical approach to the game. People were saying that signing him was a no-brainer. As it turned out, NOT signing him was a no-brainer.


Park stayed at Arsenal for 3 years in which he managed to play, quite unbelievably, only 1 game in Premier League. Wenger soon realized his mistake so he sent Park on loan twice. One was a moderate success in Celta Vigo, and another a failure.


His time at Arsenal was also strange, because he was in conflict with his country about serving the army. In the end he never served his “duty”, and eventually came back to South Korea, where he is playing for Seoul.


Given the expectations, the price, and the failure, Park Chu-Young is the worst buy of the worst buys made by Arsene Wenger.


The worst buys Arsene Wenger made (in modern time) are Marouane Chamakh, Andre Santos, Mikael Silvestre, Sebastian Squillaci, and Park Chu-Young. I know that some would want to put Arshavin in here, but he wasn’t that bad for Arsenal. Although all the players above were terrible, none of them had a really big price tag, which shows just why Arsene Wenger is so good at transfer dealings. He never overpays a failure.
Štefan Japelj

About Štefan Japelj

Experienced content writer and marketing specialist. Football (soccer) expert that likes to watch Premier League (especially Arsenal). Knows a lot about other football leagues, too!