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"We Were Close" - Arsene Wenger Reveals The One Player He Regrets Not Signing For Arsenal

Tom Fenton


"We Were Close" - Arsene Wenger Reveals The One Player He Regrets Not Signing For Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has revealed how missing out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo for Arsenal is one of his only regrets from his time at the club.

The legendary coach guided Arsenal through their famous 'invincible' Premier League campaign in 2003/2004, but if history would have turned out slightly differently, that squad could have also featured a Portuguese superstar on the wing.

Ronaldo had only just arrived at Old Trafford, moving to United for a fee of £12.24 million from Sporting Lisbon in 2003.

Hailed as one of the world's standout young talents at the time, he had plenty of admirers - Wenger being one of them.

When asked who the Frenchman would have liked to have signed for the invincible 03/04 squad, his answer was a clear one.

"It would be Ronaldo. He was playing for Manchester United back in 2004," Wenger told TalkSPORT.

"He is one of the players I regret to have not signed, we were very close [to signing him]"

Despite getting off to a slow start in Manchester, Ronaldo would eventually develop into one of the world's best players while still playing in the Premier League.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

So much so in fact, that the 36-year-old, now back at the Red Devils, won his very first Ballon d'Or as a United player in 2008.

Ronaldo in Arsenal's invincible squad would have been intriguing, but it must also be noted that he may not have been a regular in Wenger's starting XI at the time.

With Ronaldo still a young and slightly raw winger, the manager might have opted instead for the reliable deliveries of Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg - who were firm fan favourites at Highbury that season.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

How do you think Ronaldo would have fared under Wenger?

Let us know in the comments below.

Topics: Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Premier League, Arsenal, Cristiano Ronaldo

Tom Fenton
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