Willian, Mustafi, Pepe: Who is Arsenal’s worst ever signing?

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The transfer window is often a strange time in the global footballing calendar.

These are months drenched in hope as Premier League fans dream of their clubs going all out to sign the biggest stars on the planet.

On the other end of the spectrum, transfer days can often lead to vast dread and despair as the aforementioned hope quickly and cruelly diminishes as players struggle to find their feet.

It is no secret that every club is famous for the odd transfer folly over the years, but, in more recent times, Arsenal have truly emerged as one of the top deal duds in the land.

As another monstrous flop departs in former Chelsea man Willian, we thought we would rank their ten worst ever signings.

10. Nicolas Pepe – £72 million from Lille, 2019

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Now this might come across as harsh, but for what Arsenal paid for the man, it simply had be done.

While Pepe has shown glimpses of his talent, he has never done enough to justify the eye-watering £72 million the Gunners had to cough up for his services.

Fortunately for Pepe, there is still time to rectify the situation and haul himself off of this list.

9. Park Chu Young – £5 million from Monaco, 2011 

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Outside of the Arsenal fanbase, there will be few who even remember Park Chu Young.

Arsene Wenger raided former club Monaco for the South Korean striker to go on and utilise him in cup games with only a smattering of Premier League minutes to speak of.

It truly was one of the strangest deals to come out of the north London club.

8. Gervinho – £10.8 million from Lille, 2011

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At first, Arsenal looked to have bagged themselves a bargain when they snapped up Gervinho for just £10.8 million.

Sadly, the Ivorian never quite took to the Premier League struggling to really make his mark despite his very obvious talent.

He would soon be shipped off to Roma as the Gunners cut their losses.

7. Francis Jeffers – £10 million from Everton, 2001

(Credit: The Football Terrace)

Francis Jeffers was one of the most exciting teenagers to emerge in the Premier League at the time but his ‘dream’ move to Arsenal was doomed from the start.

A glut of injuries saw his playing time limited and he was never going to be able to keep the likes of Thierry Henry, Denis Bergkamp and Sylvan Wiltord out of the side.

He eventually moved back to Everton with just eight Arsenal goals to his name.

6. Lucas Perez – £17 million from Deportivo, 2016

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Whichever way you want to cut it, the fact remains that Lucas Perez was just never good enough for the Premier League.

Arsene Wenger shelled out £17 million for an unproven La Liga up-and-comer who had enjoyed just one good season in Spain.

Unsurprisingly, Perez never took to the rigours of the English game at all, leaving Wenger and Arsenal to front up to yet another glaring error in the transfer market.

5. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – swap deal with Manchester United, 2018

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To be fair, this was a deal that bombed for just about every single party that was involved.

Mkhitaryan never enjoyed life at Arsenal and it showed in his performances for the club.

Considering the Gunners had to part ways with one of their best modern-era players – Alexis Sanchez – as well just made this one all the more of a bitter pill to swallow.

4. Marouane Chamakh – Free transfer from FC Girondins Bordeaux, 2010

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The Moroccan lasted just two seasons at the Emirates despite an encouraging start to life in north London.

His form continued to defoliate in an alarming manner before the Gunners hierarchy pulled the trigger and sent him packing.

He has since retired from football having spent two years searching for a club.

3. Sebastian Squillaci – £4 million from Sevilla, 2010

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Strange days at the Emirates, indeed.

Squillaci’s debut campaign in the Arsenal backline was the epitome of Arsenal’s days as the soft underbelly stars of the league.

The defender simply never adapted after being scurried through the door as a replacement for the injured Thomas Vermaelen before being given the boot in 2013.

2. Shkodran Mustafi – £35 million from Valencia, 2016

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As first glance, this deal made a lot of sense.

Arsenal were in need of a star to solidify their solid-as-custard backline and Mustafi, a member of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad seemed to fit that bill.

Sadly, his penchant for madness and unerring ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time saw Mustafi become more of a meme in England than a star.

1. Willian – £20 million from Chelsea, 2020

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The less said about Willian’s time at Arsenal, the better.

After a brilliant performance on debut for the club, Willian’s performances veered horribly off a cliff as he became the butt of many a joke in Premier League circles.

Arsenal laid out a whack of cash on his wages for very little return and now, having torn up his own contract, Willian is heading back to Brazil. 

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