Where are they now? Arsene Wenger's most obscure signings at Arsenal

When Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal in October 1996, it didn't take the Frenchman long to demonstrate his excellent knowledge of the European transfer market.

In his first full season, the north London club won the double having brought in the likes of Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars just to name a few.

His ability to identify talent that may not have necessarily been fulfilling their potential at the time, coupled with David Dein's negotiation skills, saw Arsenal challenge Manchester United for the Premier League crown - winning it three times in seven seasons.

However, for all the stars Wenger brought to the club, there were plenty who didn't make the grade. Here, 90min remembers ten of the more 'obscure' signings who never made it in north London and takes a look at where they ended up.

1. Amaury Bischoff

Bischoff in action for the Gunners against Cardiff City in the FA Cup | Phil Cole/Getty Images

Bischoff was a French-born former Portugal Under-21 international signed by Arsenal from Werder Bremen in the summer of 2008.

He made just four appearances for the north London club and, having left on a free transfer to join Academica Coimbra just a year later, the now 33-year-old currently plays for Bahlinger SC in the German fourth tier.

2. Olafur Ingi Skulason

Skulason went to the 2018 World Cup with Iceland but didn't play | JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/Getty Images

Skulason arrived in north London from Icelandic club Fylkir in 2001 but was sent back to his former club on loan twice before he eventually signed for Brentford.

He appeared just once for Arsene Wenger's side, so his entire Arsenal career amounted to just 35 minutes of game time. Having spent spells in Turkey, Sweden and Belgium, he is now back at Fylkir, aged 37.

3. Ryo Miyaichi

Ryo Miyaichi also represented Bolton and Wigan | Michael Regan/Getty Images

At the time, Miyaichi was hailed as a Japanese wonderkid but with hindsight, we can all agree that he wasn't even close to being good enough to make it at Arsenal.

He was part of the Gunners' FA Cup winning squad in 2014 and appeared four times in the competition for Wigan when they won it the year before.

Now with FC St. Pauli in the German second tier, he is yet to make an appearance this season due to injury.

4. Arturo Lupoli

Lupoli played just nine times for Arsenal before he left for Fiorentina | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Lupoli showed signs of potential but sadly it was never fulfilled. In his nine appearances for Arsenal he managed three goals and became a bit of a journeyman after leaving.

Currently, the 33-year-old centre forward plays for Montegiorgio in the Italian fourth tier - he's a long way from the heights he once threatened to reach.

5. Stefan Malz

Malz joined the Gunners aged 27 but his Arsenal career was short-lived | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The Highbury club paid in excess of £1m to bring Malz to the club from 1860 Munich in 1999. Signed at the age of 27, within two years he returned to Germany having made very little impact in London.

Despite being a left back, he managed two goals in his 14 appearances but given he only played six times in the Premier League, you could be forgiven for thinking he was a bit of a flop.

6. Guillaume Warmuz

Warmuz signed in 2003 from RC Lens in France | PHILIPPE HUGUEN/Getty Images

French goalkeeper Warmuz had a good career in his homeland, turning out for Lens on no fewer than 407 occasions. He also had spells at Monaco and Borussia Dortmund.

From an Arsenal perspective, however, this was a completely pointless signing.

Warmuz played for the Gunners a grand total of zero times. Now retired, the 50-year-old's last role in football was as a manager at FC Montceau Bourgogne.

7. Chu-young Park

Chu-young Park was named in the Asian best XI of 2011 | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Park made just seven first-team appearances for Arsenal, scoring his only goal for the club in the League Cup.

Having joined for just shy of £6m from Monaco, it's safe to say Arsenal certainly didn't get their money's worth on the field from the Korean.

8. Igors Stepanovs

Igor Stepanovs | Ben Radford/Getty Images

Big Latvian defender Stepanovs played 100 times for his country during his career.

Although he leads the way here when it comes to first-team appearances for Arsenal with 31, he is one of a number of sub-standard centre backs Wenger brought to the club and was often poked fun at.

At 45, Stepanovs is now coaching in the Maldives.

9. Takuma Asano


Asano joined Arsenal from the Japanese side Sanfrecce Hiroshima in a deal worth £3.6m.

He was sold to Partizan Belgrade in 2019 for just shy of £1m and didn't make a single appearance for the Gunners. It didn't work out for him in London, but so far this season he's scored ten goals in 18 league appearances.

10. Pedro Botelho

Botelho signed for Arsenal from Figueirense in 2007 | MB Media/Getty Images

Botelho signed for the Gunners in a deal worth £1.08m but is another who never made a single appearance in Arsenal colours.

After a number of loan spells in Spain, the left back returned to his native Brazil and has been without a club since 2019 despite being just 31.

Source : 90min