Arsene Wenger didn’t make too many mistakes in the transfer market during his incredible 22-year tenure at Arsenal.
The Frenchman revolutionised the club, signing the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira who all played a key part in the club emerging as one of England’s dominant forces.
His later years did see a downturn in results and some of his acquisitions weren’t exactly massive success stories on the pitch, with one such example being Shkodran Mustafi, who joined the Gunners in 2016.
For a fee of £35m, it looked like Wenger was getting a solid, reliable centre-back and just 24 years old at the time, someone who could become a mainstay for the next few years.
The defender had won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, eventually going on to make 20 appearances for his country while he also featured 30 times in La Liga for Valencia the season prior to joining Arsenal.
Despite 151 appearances for the club, scoring nine goals, he didn’t exactly set the Emirates on fire during his near five-year spell at the London club.
Mistakes were commonplace, with a poor defensive error while playing against Crystal Palace in 2019 one of the worst, as he failed to deal with a harmless ball over the top before Wilfried Zaha nipped in to score and he was then booked for diving as the club lost 3-2, essentially cost them a top four spot that season.
That wasn’t the only error he made during an appalling season at the back, with the German dud costing his side on no fewer than six occasions.
It’s hardly a surprise, therefore, that Charles Watts, Arsenal correspondent for Goal described Mustafi as a “horrendous signing” after it was confirmed his contract with the club was torn up and he had joined Bundesliga side Schalke on a free transfer.
This marked a colossal waste of money, especially with the player never living up to the potential he had shown in La Liga and it represents arguably Wenger’s biggest mistake.
Mikel Arteta has yet to make a mistake of that worth, and hopefully he can continue his fine dealings in the transfer market as he aims to take Arsenal to a first Premier League crown since 2004.