Four current Arsenal stars Wenger would have never signed during Invincibles era

It's a season that will likely never be topped for Arsenal supporters.

Played 38, won 26, drawn 12 and lost 0. In 2003/04 Arsene Wenger guided to the Gunners to a feat that hadn't been achieved in more than a hundred years.

But with the likes of Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires, Arsenal achieved sporting immortality.

Not only did they manage to complete an entire season unbeaten, they also had the small matter of winning the league title at arch rivals Tottenham's White Hart Lane.

It's almost 17 years since that campaign ended and a lot has changed in north London.

A new stadium, a new manager and vastly different ambitions.

Instead of winning titles, it's now top four for Mikel Arteta. With that in mind, Star Sport have taken a look at the current Arsenal squad and predicted which players Wenger may not have signed during his most successful era at the club.

Willian

Perhaps the easiest player to predict Wenger’s thoughts on would be 32-year-old Willian.

When Arteta opted to bring the Brazilian across London from Chelsea, his three-year contract was met with bemusement.

Despite impressing at Chelsea, his advancing years meant that many were instantly concerned about the length of contract.

And his early performances have done little to allay those fears. Had Wenger been in charge, it’s unlikely such a deal would have been handed out to Willian.

Speaking in 2010, he said: "It's not over 30, it's over 32. So when you have a player [who is] 32 he will just get a one-year contract. It depends on the positions as well. If a central defender, then no problem to sign them until 34. But a striker is different. After 32 you go from year to year. A midfielder as well, after 32 you go from year-to-year."

David Luiz

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  • Wenger’s team in 2003/04 was one built on solid foundations. For all of their attacking talents, it was their ability to keep teams out at the other end which put them into the history books.

    Their 26 goals conceded was the best record in the entire top-flight and proved vital in a number of tight encounters.

    His first choice pairing of Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure played with the kind of consistency that is so lacking from Luiz.

    The Frenchman will have no doubt been enamoured by Luiz’s ability on the ball, but his penchant for high-profile mistakes would have seen him cast aside in that historic season.

    Granit Xhaka

    It was Wenger who signed the Swiss midfielder in 2016, initally pitched as the next Emmanuel Petit, Xhaka has failed to become that, while also still struggling with individual mistakes.

    No player has made more errors that have led to goals since his arrival in the Premier League.

    Arsenal could call upon the dynamic duo of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva in that season, Xhaka is still far below those two in terms of his effectiveness.

    Nicolas Pepe

    Ray Parlour admitted that Robert Pires was protected to such an extent, that even if he was having a bad game, nobody was able to shout at him.

    His kid-gloves treatment worked well. In that Invincible campaign, Pires chipped in with 26 goal involvements in the Premier League (14 goals and 12 assists).

    Although not the most naturally pacy, Pires was able to do his work off the ball to always be in the right place and quite often supply Thierry Henry with the kind of pass that only he could play.

    Pepe meanwhile has struggled for that level of consistency ever since signing. He’s yet to register an assist this season and it stands to reason Wenger may well have allocated £72m elsewhere.

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