Arsene Wenger’s worst signings as Arsenal manager, including Stepanovs, Santos and Jeffers
Not long after Arsene Wenger stepped into his role as Arsenal manager in 1996, he was tapping into the global transfer market.
From then on, doing things like getting rid of Anders Limpar and replacing him with Eddie McGoldrick were a thing of the past.
However, for all the quality he brought it, even Wenger made mistakes.
Here, Press Association Sport's Mark Mann-Bryans looks at a few forgettable recruits.
PARK CHU-YOUNG: SIGNED FROM MONACO IN AUGUST 2011 – £4million
ARSENAL GAMES: 7
ARSENAL GOALS: 1
South Korea international Park was undergoing a medical at Lille when he learned of Arsenal's interest in the summer of 2011 and left the hotel he had been staying in to head to London and complete a dream move to the Premier League.
But he wasn't able to become a first-team regular at the Emirates and made only one appearance in the league – a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
FRANCIS JEFFERS: SIGNED FROM EVERTON IN JUNE 2001 – £8m
Jeffers was dubbed the 'fox in the box' for the predatory goalscoring instincts he had shown as he made his way through the Goodison Park ranks. It seemed a shrewd piece of business by Wenger to snap him up – even at what was then such a high price.
Jeffers could never replicate the sort of form which had earned him such a moniker as he suffered with injuries and the form of Thierry Henry kept him largely in the shadows.
He won FA Cup winner's medals in 2002 and 2003 despite not playing in either final and rejoined the Toffees on loan after being sent off in his final Arsenal appearance – the 2003 Community Shield defeat to Manchester United.
GRANIT XHAKA – SIGNED FROM BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH IN MAY 2016 – £35m
Arguably the most controversial name to make the list, but Xhaka's inconsistent form and splitting of the Arsenal fanbase mirrors Wenger's final years at the club.
Signed from the Bundesliga after extensive scouting, the Switzerland international was expected to be the new, tough-tackling midfielder which Wenger's side had been crying out for.
Instead, within six months Wenger admitted Xhaka could not tackle. His disciplinary record (12 yellow cards and two reds) speaks volumes, and his unwillingness to track back saw him singled out by supporters during bad spells.
AND SOME MORE
ANDRE SANTOS: SIGNED FROM FENERBAHCE IN 2011 – £6.2m
Santos and former Spurs left-back Gilberto are proof that Brazil can produce some terrible players. He started well by scoring in his third game for the club in a 2-1 Champions League win against Olympiakos.
Injury didn't help, but he really provoked the fans' ire when he tried to swap shirts with ex-Arsenal striker Robin van Persie when making his way off the pitch at half-time in a game against Manchester United.
IGORS STEPANOVS: SIGNED FROM SKONTO RIGA IN 2000 – £2m
The decision to sign Stepanovs took Arsenal's players by surprise, as Ray Parlour points out in The Romford Pelé: Its only Ray Parlours autobiography.
Having watched him during a trial, the players thought he had no chance of being signed, so they were stunned to learn he had been given a four year contract a week later. "Igors was a yard behind us on the pitch. It was like taking my brother to training," Parlour wrote.
An injury crisis at the back in 2001, though, meant that Wenger had to field Stepanovs in a game against Man United at Old Trafford. Arsenal were beaten 6-1 and he, among others, was awful.
"Seriously, it was humiliating," Parlour said. "I remember doing the long walk to the tunnel alongside Dwight Yorke, and he asked: 'Where the hell did you get that centre-back from?'" He eventually left in 2003.