Arsenal's 6 Most Curious Transfer Signings
Just as with any big club, Arsenal has had its fair share of successes in the transfer market, along with some curious signings.
You know, the type of transfer news you get that had you spitting out your cereal like this. Okay, well, maybe not that drastic.
These were the type of signings that, as far as onlookers—both fans and otherwise—were concerned, were odd, strange or peculiar for a club of Arsenal's stature.
Whether it was the player's fit for the club, their skill level or even the money involved, these transfers raised eyebrows.
In hindsight, it's easy to see that some of those curious signings turned out far better than others.
So, we're not judging these players by what they did after they joined, but by how their transfer was perceived before they even donned an Arsenal jersey.
Players who joined the youth team directly aren't candidates for this list, as their transfers are much less scrutinized than first-team transfers.
Here are Arsenal's six most curious transfer signings.
6. Mikael Silvestre
Arsene Wenger can be forgiven a little for signing Mikael Silvestre given that William Gallas and Kolo Toure were first-choice central defenders at the club.
When you consider that Silvestre was 31, had little to offer and joined directly from a rival club, then the transfer becomes a curious one.
Then Silvestre was given the No. 18 previously worn by a certain Pascal Cygan, and things weren't looking good.
Silvestre wasn't as exceptionally shocking as the current player wearing that number, but his signing was still a weird one.
5. Park Chu-Young
Park Chu-Young was one of the players picked up during Arsenal's last-minute transfer bonanza in the 2011 summer window.
Here's what Arsene Wenger had to say about the signing(via ESPN Soccernet);
"We are delighted to have signed Chu. He will add true quality to our attacking forces and will be a valuable addition to the squad."
The Frenchman knows how to make a joke.
While the South Korean forward was a decent enough player in Ligue 1 with Monaco, he wasn't exactly Arsenal material.
It was always going to work out badly, but folks surely wouldn't have guessed Park would have made just six appearances in 2011-12 before being loaned out this season.
4. Andre Santos
The Brazilian left-back was another player signed during the end of the 2011 transfer window, and much like Park Chu-Young, his signing was questionable.
Santos wasn't the type of efficient two-way player that Arsenal needed on the left side of defense. He was a weak individual defender and not the most effective attacking from left-back.
Any fan who thought getting a Brazilian left-back would help solve Arsenal's troubles at the position was wrong and has been proved as much.
3. Laurent Koscielny
Laurent Koscielny was another curious signing for Arsenal.
Little was known about the French defender before he signed with the Gunners after just one season in Ligue 1 with FC Lorient.
He wasn't exactly the defender Arsenal fans wanted to replace the likes of William Gallas and Kolo Toure.
Indeed, the reported £8.5 million fee could have gone toward a more established player (via The Daily Telegraph).
His lack of experience showed itself a number of times during the 2010-11 season. There's been progress since, but at the time, that transfer was an odd one.
2. Amaury Bischoff
Arsene Wenger admitted it was a gamble to sign then-21-year-old Amaury Bischoff back in 2008 (via Arsenal.com).
So why exactly did you go ahead with the signing, Mr. Wenger?
It was odd enough that an injury-prone 21-year-old was set to join, and odder still that he was expected to compete with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri for a spot in midfield.
Needless to say, Bischoff's Arsenal career never got off the ground.
The Portuguese midfielder made only four appearances for the Gunners before being let go in 2009.
1. Carl Jenkinson
Remember when Arsenal let go Emmanuel Eboue and had to deal with a 19-year-old with no Premier League experience as a backup right-back?
Yeah, that was just last season.
When Carl Jenkinson signed and Eboue left, eyebrows were raised. Nothing at all was known about what the young English defender brought to the pitch.
His lack of experience certainly didn't help his cause, and the thought was that Arsenal considerably weakened their defense.
Throughout the majority of his debut season, Jenkinson did little to quell those thoughts.