DM: Yaya Toure
The Ivorian midfielder had a trial at Arsenal in 2003. He even played for the Gunners in a friendly against Barnet. Wenger, who already had brother Kolo in his squad, was very keen to sign Yaya, but work permit problems got in the way.
DM: Claude Makelele
Wenger almost signed Makelele as a 23-year-old in August 1996, but he didn’t seal the deal. The French midfielder, who defined the anchor man role throughout his career, went to play for Marseille, Celta Vigo, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
RM: Angel Di Maria
Those bloody work permits again! They stopped Arsenal signing Di Maria on a free transfer when he was 17. The former Real Madrid midfielder cost Manchester United £59.7m this summer.