Arsenal’s last 10 signings before Stan Kroenke – and how they fared
Arsenal fans have been less than happy with how Stan Kroenke has backed the club in the transfer market over the years – but how did they fare in the years just before the American’s arrival?
Kroenke hasn’t quite matched the spending of the Gunners’ Premier League rivals since he became a majority shareholder, and with Arsenal slipping out of the Champions League in that period, fans are in no doubt about who is to blame.
We’ve looked at the last 10 signings Arsenal made before Kroenke took over to see how they fared at the club.
Lehmann came out of retirement to return to Arsenal for a second spell at the age of 41 during an injury crisis in March 2011.
The goalkeeper made just one more appearance for the club before hanging up his boots for a second time at the end of the season.
Miyaichi joined Arsenal in January 2011 following a successful trial, but he was initially denied a work permit to play in the Premier League.
Despite being dubbed “Ryodinho” during a successful loan spell at Feyenoord, he made just seven appearances for Arsenal in all competitions.
After further loan spells at Bolton, Wigan and Twente, the Japan international joined German side St Pauli on a permanent deal in 2015 and finally enjoyed some career highs.
Squillaci joined the Gunners from Sevilla in 2010 with a good reputation, but a series of horrendous errors saw him become a much-maligned figure in north London, and he was released in 2013.
‘There were a lot of expectations, but it’s always been tough for the centre-backs at Arsenal – you can see that before I joined and after I left,” Squillaci told beIN Sports in 2016.
“Arsenal conceded goals and they’ll always concede goals. It’s because of the club’s philosophy. I spoke to Wenger about it and he said “I know it’s hard, but that’s the way it is, I want to play like this, I want my forwards to have freedom, not to have too much defending to do.”
“It was very open, and we often found ourselves one-on-one with the attacker.”
The major success story from this list, Koscielny was relatively unknown when he moved to north London from Lorient in the summer of 2010.
He became a mainstay of their defence over the next nine years, making 353 appearances in all competitions and winning three FA Cups in the process.
The France international even captained the club in 2018-19 before controversially forcing a move to Bordeaux at the end of that season. He’s since left the Ligue 1 club, leaving us with one of the great football quotes of recent times.
“Is it because I like wine?” he said after being ousted.
“Of course, I love wine, I am in a wine region, and therefore I can have moments with my family where we taste good wine. But then there is the work and I am always on the ground and on time.”
Have you heard anything more French in your life?
After starring for Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, Chamakh joined Arsenal on a free transfer in 2010.
Despite scoring 11 goals in his first 22 appearances, the striker soon fell out of favour and was shipped off to Crystal Palace in 2013.
“When I started, it went really well,” Chamakh told RMC Sport in 2016. “I took advantage of Van Persie’s injuries, which cleared my path. I played for six months, I scored goals, I contributed.
“In January, Robin came back from injury and overnight I found myself on the bench without any explanation. Obviously, I’m a little bit annoyed with [Wenger] because I think I deserved more playing time than he gave and promised me.
“For the ambitions I had, I think it was a little bit of a lack of respect. I had started well, and overnight he forgot about me just like that.”
Arsenal agreed a deal to sign Silva from Fluminense when he was just 16 years old, but the FA backtracked on its initial decision to award him a ‘Special Talent Visa’.
The Brazilian failed to make a single first-team appearance for the club and returned to Fluminense on a permanent deal in 2016 after six separate loan spells.
After a bizarre 29-day spell at Notts County, Campbell trained with Arsenal to maintain his fitness before re-signing for the club on a short-term deal.
The centre-back made 14 appearances in his second spell following injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas but was released at the end of the 2009-10 season.
Arsenal’s marquee signing of the summer 2009 transfer window, Vermaelen enjoyed an impressive debut season at the Emirates and earned a place in the PFA Team of the Year.
But the centre-back struggled with injuries for the majority of his Arsenal career and eventually fell behind Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order.
He completed a surprise move to Barcelona in 2014 and had to wait nine months before making his debut for the Spanish club.
While Arshavin may have failed to live up to expectations at Arsenal, he’ll always have those four goals against Liverpool.
Arsenal were in desperate need of defensive reinforcements in 2008 and signed a 31-year-old Silvestre from rivals Manchester United.
It quickly became apparent why Sir Alex Ferguson was willing to let him leave, however, and the centre-back made just 26 Premier League appearances during his two-year spell with the Gunners.