Arsène Wenger: My regret at not signing Gareth Bale | inside World Soccer

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has revealed his regret at missing out on Gareth Bale as a youngster.

Gareth Bale has been a phenomenon this season, scoring 21 Premier League goals for Tottenham
Gareth Bale has been a phenomenon this season, scoring 21 Premier League goals for Tottenham

Photo: Getty Images

Wenger had the chance to land the Welsh wizard when he was at Southampton, but the Gunners boss felt he had enough options at left-back at the time and decided against a bid for Bale.

The Wales international eventually moved to Arsenal's rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 and has since become the hottest property in world football.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Sport, Wenger said: "We didn't take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gaël Clichy and didn't want another left-back.

"I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield.

"He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well.

"The career of a player sometimes depends on playing in the right position."

Wenger scouted Bale and Theo Walcott when they were Saints teenagers, but opted to sign only the latter.

The Frenchman added: "At some stage, we were on about taking the two if possible.

"But we could get Walcott and I am very happy. You'd be amazed by the number of players we should have signed. Every club misses players."

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