Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that allowing defender Ashley Cole to leave the club to join Chelsea in 2006 was the “worst decision of his life.”
Wenger led Arsenal for 22 years, from 1996 to 2018, winning three Premier League crowns and seven FA Cups.
The Frenchman has now spoken out about one of his worst blunders while at the Premier League North London side, pointing to his decision to allow Cole leave Emirates 17 years ago.
“I would say of the players who left Arsenal who had a very big career after Arsenal is Ashley Cole,” Wenger remarked on the Seaman Says podcast.
“He was the only one who moved on and finished his career, and it was my biggest regret in life.”
“Recently, we had a meeting, and I was glad he was there because he had a bad feeling, and I regretted that he had left the club at the time.”
During his tenure at Arsenal, Wenger also revealed that the club was ‘near’ to signing both Cristiano Ronaldo and N’Golo Kante.
“I missed many fantastic players, we missed Ronaldo, who was on the verge of joining us, Kante… “You miss a lot of people, but it’s a part of every football club,” he added.