Arsene Wenger picks his greatest-ever Arsenal January signing… no, not Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but cult hero Kanu, who he picked up for just £4m from Inter Milan in 1999
Arsene Wenger has named Nwankwo Kanu ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his best January signing while manager of Arsenal.
Kanu joined the Gunners in 1999 after making the move from Inter Milan for a fee of £4.15million and he quickly became an important player in the second half of his first season.
He came off the bench in his first few games, netting goals against Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa and north London rivals Tottenham.
The striker scored 17 goals in his first full season, including a 15-minute hat-trick against Chelsea, and helped his side reach the UEFA Cup final.
When asked about his best piece of business in the January window, Wenger opted for the Nigerian over Aubameyang, who he signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2018.
‘What a difficult question. Over 20 years, maybe Kanu. In the middle of the season. That had a big impact and he was a huge player,’ he told beIN Sport.
Kanu was popular among Arsenal fans during his five-and-a-half years at the club. He was part of the Invincibles team from 2003-2004 and managed 43 Premier League goals in 195 games.
He went on to play for West Brom and Portsmouth where he finished his career in 2012.
Wenger signed Aubameyang from Dortmund for what was a club record fee of £56m.
The striker managed 10 goals in the remainder of the 2017-2018 before scoring 31 in all competitions during his first full season at the club.
The Gabon international was on 20 for the current campaign before football was suspended in March.
Wenger, who is now working as FIFA’s chief of global football development, revealed he is not a supporter of the mid-season transfer window and believes it should be scrapped.
‘No, I am not [in favour of it]. Because I think it is like a race in a marathon where you change the shoes halfway,’ he added.
‘It is not right, when once you have started the season, you have to finish the season with the same players.
‘Or you keep it open the whole season like it was when I arrived in England. They have chosen a rule that is not right.’