Black Friday: The Best and Worst Premier League Panic Buys

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, when bargain hunters try to grab themselves a great deal.

But one man who will not be joining the hordes of shoppers is Arsene Wenger.

The Arsenal manager was not even aware of the phenomenon when asked at a news conference, but was against the concept of panic buying.

“If they need two TVs, yes. But if they don’t need one, why should they buy two?”, he said.

Wenger does, however, love getting a good deal for a player, saying: “I love a bargain. Who doesn’t love a bargain?”

But history suggests that Wenger does not always follow his own advice and has himself been partial to a panic buy on football’s own annual shopping phenomenon -transfer deadline day.

In honour of Black Friday, BBC Sport takes a look at the best and worst deadline-day buys. Did clubs get a bargain or did they end up being a Christmas pudding?

Wenger’s hits and misses

For every Patrick Vieira and Mesut Ozil that Wenger considers a “top bargain”, there is Kim Kallstrom and Andre Santos.

“What is a bargain for us is to buy players of top quality, because only top quality strengthens our squad,” said Wenger, in reference to the £2.5m he spent on Vieira and £42.4m on Ozil.

But rewind to 31 August 2011. With midfielders Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and defender Gael Clichy all leaving in the summer window, Wenger embarked on a deadline-day spending spree.

He spent £10m on Mikel Arteta from Everton while midfielder Yossi Benayoun arrived on loan from Chelsea with defenders Per Mertesacker and Santos also brought in.

Arteta and Mertesacker have proved their worth and longevity at Arsenal while the less said about £6.2m left-back Santos, the better. The Brazilian played just 33 times in two seasons at the Emirates, which included an ill-advised half-time shirt-swap with former Gunner Robin van Persie.

Then there is the curious case of Swedish midfielder Kallstrom who was signed on loan, albeit with an existing back injury, on 31 January 2014.

The Swede, then aged 31, was meant to provide cover for for the injured Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, but he himself was sidelined for six weeks and only made four appearances for Arsenal.

Verdict: Arteta and Mertesacker are Black Friday bargains. Kallstrom and Santos are Christmas puddings

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