Following on from Fred’s howl of pain about the transfer window in a Post on Monday, I thought it would be good to think about the best transfer signing Arsenal has ever made.
I suggest we use two categories, otherwise it will simply come down to a question of “which Invincible was our best acquisition?”
Category 1: Our best signing of all time.
Category 2: Our best NON-INVINCIBLE signing of all time.
In both cases we’re looking at players signed as pros, not players we acquired during their youth development phases.
Please give your answers and your reasons.
I’ll get the ball rolling:
Best signing of all time: SOL CAMPBELL
I know big Sol is not as glamorous as the attacking options we could choose from (Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Cazorla, Van Persie etc) but he was the rock on which our Invincibles season was built.
More than that, when news broke that we had pinched him from the noisy neighbours it was the most sensational Arsenal transfer moment of my lifetime.
In one fell swoop we secured one of the best central defenders in the world; massively diminished our traditional rivals; and established that North London really was red.
Yes, those aforementioned attackers – plus players like Vieira, Gilberto and Cole – were all crucial components of the team that made history, but without Campbell I wonder whether there would ever have been an “Invincibles.” A title-winning team? For sure. But an UNBEATEN title winning team? Unlikely.
Best NON-INVINCIBLE signing of all time: IAN WRIGHT.
It was a close call for me between Wrighty and Aaron “Mr FA Cup” Ramsey. They have both given me huge pleasure as an Arsenal fan. I know we have had many players with better all round skill than Ramsey, but his cup final heroics make him really special for me.
As for Wrighty, it was impossible not to love his exuberance, his passion and his love of the game. If you are too young to have experienced his skills first hand, look at some YouTube compilations of his Arsenal goals: you will see one of the greatest natural finishers ever to have played for us.
Those are my choices – what about yours?