Search icon


20th Apr 2018

We had to omit some world class players from our Arsene Wenger greatest Arsenal XI

This wasn't easy

Matthew Gault

The amount of brilliant players he’s had at Arsenal is staggering.

During his 22 years at the Arsenal helm, Arsene Wenger has managed some of the greatest players to ever grace the Premier League.

From fellow Frenchmen Thierry Henry and Robert Pires to Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, Wenger had an enviable pool of talent to call upon during his time in charge.

When you throw together Wenger’s finest, you get one hell of a team. Here’s what we’ve come up with for our ultimate Wenger XI.

David Seaman

The England goalkeeper was already a Gunners stalwart by the time Wenger was appointed in 1996 but remained the first-choice between the sticks for the club’s first two Premier League titles under the Frenchman. Seaman bowed out in style, too, captaining Arsenal to FA Cup glory in 2003 in his final game for the club, beating Southampton 1-0.


The Cameroonian right-back survived an injury-hit first season in England to establish himself as Wenger’s preferred right-back, becoming an integral member of the squad that won the 2002 Premier League before going on to form a part of the iconic ‘Invincibles’ side in the 2003/04 season.

Sol Campbell

A highly controversial arrival, Campbell joined Wenger’s revolution after leaving arch-rivals Tottenham in 2001. The commanding centre-back was a rock in the Arsenal defence for five years, helping them to two Premier League titles and three FA Cups in the process.

Campbell’s Arsenal career ended in agony, however, losing out to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final, with the England international scoring the opening goal before Frank Rijkaard’s men turned it around late on.

Kolo Toure

While the case for Tony Adams’ inclusion is certainly strong, the former Arsenal captain was already at his peak by the time Wenger arrived in North London. Laurent Koscielny has also been a fine servant but we’re going with Kolo Toure, who partnered Campbell at the heart of the defence during the ‘Invincibles’ campaign.

A quick, tactically astute defender, Toure left Arsenal in 2009 after falling out with William Gallas, moving on to Manchester City where he won another title in 2012.

Ashley Cole

Arguably the greatest left-back of the Premier League era, Cole was an outstanding player for Wenger, practically ever-present during the club’s triumphant league campaigns in 2002 and 2004. Although Arsenal fans felt betrayed when he left for Chelsea, there can be no denying his contributions during his seven years at the Gunners.

Patrick Vieira

A symbol of Arsenal’s Premier League success, Vieira was the heartbeat of the Wenger era when the club competed with United for English football supremacy. An inspirational leader both on and off the pitch, Vieira was Wenger’s most trusted on-pitch lieutenant during his first decade in charge.

The Frenchman is now being tipped to replace Wenger.

Emmanuel Petit

Having already played under Wenger at Monaco, Petit signed for Arsenal in 1997 and formed a formidable midfield partnership with Vieira as Arsenal won the league and cup double in ’98. Petit’s impressive displays at Highbury earned him a move to Barcelona in 2000 as part of a double capture with teammate Marc Overmars.

Cesc Fabregas

Signed from Barcelona as a fresh-faced 16-year-old, Fabregas went on to become one of Arsenal’s finest midfielders. A creative linchpin, Fabregas was unable to guide Arsenal to Premier League glory during his time in North London but is remembered fondly by Arsenal supporters.

Thierry Henry

Henry was signed by Wenger in 1999 after an unfulfilling spell with Juventus and soon became one of the most devastating attacking players in world football. By the time Henry joined Barcelona in 2007, the forward had three PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards, four Golden Boots and two Premier League titles to his name. Says it all.

Dennis Bergkamp

Signed in 1995, Bergkamp undoubtedly played the best football of his career under Wenger. The manager’s strict insistence on players following robust fitness regimens suited Bergkamp, who scored 22 goals to fire Arsenal to the title in 1998. By the time the Dutch forward retired in 2006, his place as one of Arsenal’s greatest ever players was well and truly cemented.

Robert Pires

We’ve had to – perhaps controversially – leave out Alexis Sanchez and Robin van Persie, but such was Pires’ almost telepathic understanding with Henry, we simply had to have him in. So often the classy architect of Arsenal’s free-flowing attacks, Pires’ capture was a transfer masterstroke by Wenger, proving to be a remarkably consistent replacement for. Overmars.

Pires led the assists charts when Arsenal won the league in 2002, being named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.