the accomplished dealer he is in the transfer market, Arsene Wenger does have his own ‘would have been’s in shopping for some of the gems of game.

In the latest edition of a web chat with the Arsenal boss – held by the club earlier this week – a fan asked whether there were any players Wenger regrets not to have secured and the manager’s response was as enthusiastic.

He did not necessarily rue his failure to lure those hit men but like a regretful man indeed, Arsene was quick to name some of the big names who were once up for grabs.

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“We could have signed Essien, we could have signed Makelele but it didn’t work.” Wenger said.

“There are many in fact. We were close to signing Ronaldo before Man. United. So you have already a few big names together there.”