Wenger - Bergkamp looked for Pires

Arsene Wenger says he learns a great deal about new signings solely from watching their first training sessions at the club.

The Arsenal manager is known for meticulously scouting players around the world before deciding whether to add them to his squad.

But he says their first moments with their new team-mates at London Colney often provide more insight than anything else.

Read the latest edition

For the full interview, buy the current Official Arsenal Magazine

Click here to subscribe

“You learn something straight away [in training],” he told the Arsenal Magazine. “If it’s an offensive player I always put them alongside very good players in the small matches when they arrive for their first training sessions. Then you see how much these players give them the ball.

“When I signed Robert Pires, in the first small-sided training game, I put him in the same team as Dennis Bergkamp.

"After five minutes I knew how good he was because Bergkamp kept giving him the ball! So Bergkamp thought he was a good player, they linked up well together so then you know you have won the battle.

“Of course you put them in conditions in training where you can see if other players think they are good. That’s always very important, because players want to be respected by the others in the dressing room.

“Also it’s important that they can be in an environment where they can express their talent, so you want to do that as early as you can in a training session.”


Arsenal Magazine May issue

Arsenal Magazine May issue


See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Premier League
Ticket Info