Arsene Wenger, former Arsenal manager has said that his decision to let defender Ashley Cole leave the Gunners to join Chelsea in 2006 was the ‘regret of his life’.
Wenger who spent 22 years in charge of Arsenal from 1996 to 2018, delivering three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup trophies.
The Frenchman has now opened up about one of his biggest mistakes during his spell at the Premier League North London club and pointed towards his decision to let Cole exit Emirates 17 years ago.
“I would say of the player who left Arsenal who had a very big career after Arsenal is Ashley Cole,” Wenger said on the Seaman Says podcast.
“He was the only one who moved on and fulfilled his career and it was a regret of my life.
“Recently we had a meeting, I was glad he was in the meeting, because he had a bad feeling and I had a regret that he left the club at the time.”
Wenger also disclosed that Arsenal were ‘close’ to signing both Cristiano Ronaldo and N’Golo Kante during his time at the club.
“I missed many great players, we missed Ronaldo, he was close to signing for us, Kante… you miss many but it is part of every football club,” he added.