After this weekend the dust will finally start to settle on Ashley Cole's move to Chelsea.

The left back's transfer to Stamford Bridge became an epic saga in the English media over the summer. It was finally concluded at the 11th hour on deadline day with William Gallas moving in the opposite direction.

Arsène Wenger believes both parties and both players should be happy with the conclusion. He also hopes Cole will look back fondly on his spell at Arsenal.

"Time always helps you to see who helped you in life or not," said the Frenchman at Friday's pre-match press conference. "One day he will see, maybe not this year but in 10 years, that Arsenal was not as bad for him.

"He has done well for us and we wish him well in the future. But at the end of the day as a coach or manager you help people. For one part of his career we have helped him to become a world class left back and now we are completely OK with that.

"He is a good guy, but he was in a situation where his feelings towards the Club changed. Is it his fault? Is it our fault? Is it his agent's fault? That today is not really important. At the end of the day the most important thing is that he is happy and the Club is happy."

Wenger also revealed that the acquisition of Gallas was not a deal-breaker for Cole's move.

"If Chelsea had come in and said 'we want to buy Cole and you will never get Gallas' I would still have sold Ashley Cole," he said.

"I did not pick him because I had promised I would let him go. He never came to see me and said he did not want to play.

"I offered him that as long as the window was open I would not play him.

"If the transfer had not happened Cole would have played for us. He became a world class defender here and we were happy with his performances.

"But he wanted to go and I promised him that he could. And I promised him he could go, it was not with the condition of getting another player in but just that we got the right price."

6/1 - Arsenal v Middlesbrough: Julio Baptista to score the first goal


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8 Sep 2006