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Dec 12, 2012

Wenger reveals regret over Arsenal sales

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes the sale of star names has meant his team have been unable to realise their full potential.

• Brewin: Wenger on the wane
• Jolly: Bradford take centre stage
• Blog: Paying the price for complacency

Wenger is currently under pressure following a poor start to the season for the Gunners, who on Tuesday night were surprisingly knocked out of the Capital One Cup by League Two side Bradford.

The disappointment of that result had not played out when he was speaking in the January edition of Four Four Two magazine, but the Frenchman was nonetheless in pensive mood during the interview.

Wenger has seen the likes of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Alex Song leave Emirates Stadium in recent seasons, and he outlined a sense of what might have been.

"My regret is that we already had a great team two or three years ago which could compete on four fronts," Wenger said.

"We just missed out in the Champions League against Barcelona [in the last-16 tie in 2011], when we could have scored in the last minute, and then we just missed out on the Premier League too.

"But you could feel the potential was there, and I thought, 'Okay, let's do this together'. Then the team split up, sometimes after five or six years' work, it is frustrating, you have to start all over again."

He added: "We have lost recent players earlier in their careers - to lose Van Persie, Fabregas, Nasri and Song in just two years, it is a massive amount of potential, of course you worry."

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