Former Arsenal star Ian Wright believes club legend Dennis Bergkamp is the best signing the Gunners have ever made – and says he helped engineer the club’s early success under Arsene Wenger.
Bergkamp spent over a decade in north London and quickly emerged as a fans’ favourite as the ex-forward injected his unique quality into the team – scoring 120 goals and helping the club scoop up 10 trophies.
The Dutchman made an immediate impression from the second he arrived at Highbury in 1995 as he netted 16 goals in his first season before Wenger was appointed as manager the following year.
And it wasn’t long before the club started making their mark on the domestic scene under the Frenchman, with Bergkamp inspiring the team to the Premier League title in 1997-98 as top scorer.
Discussing the best European stars to have played in the Premier League on the Match of the Day podcast, Wright said his old colleague Bergkamp was ‘magnificent’ and ‘an honour to play with’.
‘He was a massive signing for Arsenal and he’s the one that all the success was built on,’ Wright said.
‘He was magnificent and is the best signing the club has ever made. He changed the DNA of the club. It was a real honour to play with somebody of that calibre.’
When Bergkamp was first signed by Arsenal from Inter Milan for £7.5million in 1995-16, Ian Wright had just finished as the top scorer, and the pair would go on to forge a deadly partnership together.
They were both part of the side that won the title in 1998, with Wright netting 10 league goals that season and Bergkamp 16. That season they also won the FA Cup together, although neither played in the final.
Wright ended up departing the club for West Ham the following season, as Bergkamp went on to lead Arsenal to further glory. He won three FA Cups during his time at Arsenal and three league titles, including being part of the Invincibles side in 2003-04 that went a whole season unbeaten.