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Ex-Arsenal boss Wenger admits regret letting Chelsea sign Anelka

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confessed he regrets not re-signing Nicolas Anelka.

The nomadic forward had a spell with the Gunners between 1996-99 before moving on to Real Madrid, but he became available again in 2008 while at Bolton Wanderers.

At that time Arsenal were struggling up front following injuries to the likes of Eduardo and Robin van Persie, and Wenger considered a swoop for Anelka.

In the end nothing materialised, however, and Anelka went on to join Chelsea, where he scored 59 goals over five seasons and won a Premier League and two FA Cups.

On The Tuesday Club podcast, Wenger said, "Maybe (it was the wrong decision)!

"He wanted to come back. Maybe it was a mistake.

"I wanted to give the signal to the players that once you left the club there is no way back.

"I felt that they would then have a hesitation to leave. I didn't give them the feeling of 'ok I go somewhere else, I try it and if it doesn't work I come back'.

"That's why I didn't do it and overall maybe I should have done it. Nicolas still scored in 125 games overall in the Premier League I think, something like that, so he could have helped us."

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Paul Vegas

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