Wenger - Why I went with instinct to sign Overmars

It is 20 years since the start of Arsene Wenger’s first full season in English football - but he can still remember it clearly.

In the summer of 1997, the Arsenal manager was in the process of reshaping his squad for a tilt at the title, with Dutch winger Marc Overmars his star signing.

“I had exactly in my mind the type of players I wanted,” Wenger told Arsenal Player. “It was quite easy to [sign] players and it was easy to make decisions as well. 

“The difficult decision was Overmars, because the medical department said at the time not to do it. But I had a clear idea after six or seven months at the club of what I needed to improve the team. 

“It was also a very cheap buy on top of that because he came back from a cruciate [injury].”

Wenger also added unknown quantities such as Christopher Wreh, Alex Manninger, Matthew Upon and Luis Boa More to his ranks during a busy summer.

“They all played their part that season and were young talented players,” he said. “They did not all make it [here] but I went for them because I believe they had the talent. 

“Many of them showed after that they had the talent, like Upson, who had a great career.”

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