Arsene Wenger: Not signing Gareth Bale was a ‘huge mistake’

Arsene Wenger admits that he made a "huge mistake" in turning down the chance to sign Gareth Bale for Arsenal

gareth bale
Gareth Bale scored 21 league goals for Tottenham in 2012-13 Photo: Back Page Images

Arsene Wenger admits that he made a “huge mistake” in turning down the chance to sign Gareth Bale for Arsenal before he moved to Tottenham.

Bale, who joined Spurs in 2007, was one of the Premier League standout performers last season, scoring 21 top-flight goals and winning both of the PFA player of the year awards.

And Wenger has revealed that he had the option of signing Bale from Southampton but opted instead to bring Theo Walcott to north London – something he now regrets.

“We didn’t take him because we had Ashley Cole and [Gael] Clichy and we didn’t want to add another left back, but I must honestly confess it was a huge mistake,” Wenger told Al Jazeera.

“[He’s a special player] because he can play left midfield, but he struggled at the start and at some stage, the noises I heard, Tottenham were ready to sell him.

“But they moved him to left midfield and he did incredibly well.”

The 23-year-old’s sensational form has seen him linked with a transfer away from White Hart Lane this summer, with Real Madrid and Manchester United reportedly keen to sign Spurs’ prized asset.

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal told to pay £23m for England and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale - report
Kieran Trippier speaks at England media conference (Photo: Sky Sports / Screen grab)
'He has his heart set on a move': Reporter claims Kieran Trippier wants Man United switch
Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC consider swoop for Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic - report
Mikel Arteta
‘I’ve got a feeling’: Danny Murphy makes predication about Arsenal next season
Jurgen Klopp
Journalist: Liverpool FC have been scouting Donyell Malen for many months
Mikel Arteta
Arsenal told to pay £23m for England and Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale - report
Kieran Trippier speaks at England media conference (Photo: Sky Sports / Screen grab)
'He has his heart set on a move': Reporter claims Kieran Trippier wants Man United switch
Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC consider swoop for Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic - report
Mikel Arteta
‘I’ve got a feeling’: Danny Murphy makes predication about Arsenal next season
Jurgen Klopp
Journalist: Liverpool FC have been scouting Donyell Malen for many months
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature