With Mikel Arteta and Arsenal already looking for another goalkeeper to provide worthy back-up to Bernd Leno, it’s safe to say that Alex Runarsson has endured a horror four months at the club.
After the Gunners let Emiliano Martinez leave for Aston Villa last summer, Arsenal brought in Runarsson from Dijon as his replacement , but there were immediate question marks surrounding his arrival after failing to convince in Ligue 1.
And since his arrival, those doubts have been confirmed with nervy displays and a lack of authority between the posts and a nightmare performance in the Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City last month.
In light of this, Webster Nyandika takes a look at other ‘Arsenal’s top 10 worst signings’
1) PARK CHU-YOUNG
The No 1 spot goes to South Korean forward Park, who had a very promising career ahead of him before signing on the dotted line for Arsenal from French side Monaco in 2011.
The striker had just come off the back of two impressive seasons with Monaco in Ligue 1 and was on the verge of joining Lille before pulling out after hearing of Arsenal’s interest.
However, it proved to be the wrong decision for Park, and ultimately a signing that ended up being a real head-scratcher for the Gunners.
He scored on his debut in a League Cup match against Bolton but that proved to be it for Park.
A lack of game time and apparent questions over his ability, which led to loan spells at Celta Vigo and Watford, saw him released in 2014. He ended up signing for Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab. His time at Arsenal remains a complete mystery.
2) KABA DIAWARA
After Wenger hyped up Diawara when he moved to Highbury in January 1999, many fans were expectant of what he could deliver up front as they battled it out for the Premier League title with Manchester United.
But what followed was a nightmare spell in north London. The Frenchman failed to register a single goal and only lasted until the end of the season when he was sold to Marseille.
There were hopes he would emulate Nicolas Anelka but they were way off the mark.
Diawara’s lack of cutting edge proved rather decisive as United pipped them to the league title before going on to record their famous Treble.
He did have a fairly impressive talent for hitting the woodwork though, most notably in the costly penultimate Premier League clash with Leeds in May 1999.
3) SEBASTIEN SQUILLACI
Another centre-back brought in as cover, this time in 2010 due to a shortage of options in defence. After a couple of strong seasons playing for Sevilla and earning appearances for the France national team, there was optimism surrounding his signing.
But the Frenchman made several defensive errors early on in his Arsenal career and looked out of his depth throughout his time in north London.
Just three years after joining, Squillaci was shipped out to French outfit Bastia.
A signing Arsenal fans won’t forget anytime soon for all the wrong reasons.
4) IGORS STEPANOVS
After an injury to ‘Mr Arsenal’ Tony Adams, the club were quick to sign Stepanovs from Latvian side Skonto Riga as an emergency replacement in 2000.
After earning more playing time, his confidence took an instant hit after featuring at centre-back during Arsenal’s 6-1 defeat by then-arch rivals Manchester United in the Premier League at Old Trafford.
The Latvian defender never fully recovered from the Old Trafford nightmare and he found first-team opportunities limited behind Adams and Martin Keown in the Arsenal backline.
Stepanovs made only 17 Premier League appearances before moving to Grasshopper in Switzerland in 2004.
5) YAYA SANOGO
When Sanogo arrived in north London in the summer of 2013, there were high hopes after he had just enjoyed a breakthrough season at Auxerre, in which he scored 10 goals during 13 appearances in Ligue 2.
But in his debut campaign at the Emirates, the gangly Frenchman – who was largely used as a substitute by Arsene Wenger – failed to score in 14 appearances.
He did however score his first competitive goal for Arsenal against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League during the 2014-15 season, which helped the Gunners secure their spot in the last-16 of the competition with a game to play.
But it says a lot when his stand-out moment of his Arsenal career came in the Emirates Cup, when he netted four times in the 5-1 thrashing of Benfica in August 2014. He certainly didn’t live up to expectations.
6) FRANCIS JEFFERS
There were great expectations on Jeffers’ shoulders after joining Arsenal from Everton in 2001, but his time at Highbury was far from ideal under legendary manager Wenger.
The description given to Arsenal fans of Jeffers was ‘fox in the box’ following his £8million move.
But the former England striker scored just eight goals while having various fitness issues before being sold to Charlton for £2.6m in 2004.
Wenger would go onto reveal: ‘We were considering Ruud van Nistelrooy and Francis Jeffers and, in the end, we went for Jeffers.’ It is safe to say that move certainly didn’t go to plan.’
7) KIM KALLSTROM
‘Hey, remember me? It’s Kim Kallstrom but you might know me as the guy with the broken back.’
This is how the former Swedish midfielder introduces himself on Arsenal’s website when reflecting on his bizarre brief stint at the Emirates.
Again, Kallstrom was another one of those Arsenal signings which still leaves many fans puzzled to this day.
Kallstrom moved to Arsenal on loan from Spartak Moscow on transfer deadline day in January 2014, with the move sanctioned despite a back injury being discovered during his medical.
8) DENIS SUAREZ
One of the biggest takeaways from Unai Emery’s time at Arsenal was the nightmare loan signing of Suarez from Barcelona in January 2019.
During his loan spell in the English capital, the Spanish midfielder only made six appearances overall – twice in Europe and four times in the Premier League – in a hugely underwhelming stint.
After leaving Arsenal, Suarez blamed a persistant pelvic injury for his shortcomings.
9) ALEX RUNARSSON
The Icelandic goalkeeper comes in at No 9 on our list after his far from convincing displays as Leno’s back-up.
He was culpable for City’s first goal in their 4-1 Carabao Cup rout at the Emirates last month after failing to command his six-yard area while he fumbled Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick, which was straight at him.
His performances have put fear into Arsenal supporters worried what will happen if Leno suffers any type of injury.
But it must be highlighted that Runarsson was always viewed as third choice with room for improvement after the club failed to find a No 2 last summer.
10) ANDRE SANTOS
This goes down as another panic signing from the Gunners as Wenger looked to solve his shortage of left-back options in August 2011.
But Santos’ lack of defensive discipline hurt Arsenal on numerous occasions and it wasn’t long before he departed for Gremio on loan.
His lack of pace and poor positioning was vilified by Arsenal fans and the media alike, and he never looked comfortable wearing the Gunners shirt during his one-and-a-half-year stint.
While he showed some signs of attacking intent, most notably his goal in Arsenal’s 5-3 win at Chelsea in 2011, his decision to swap shirts with former player Robin van Persie at half-time of a defeat at Manchester United summed up his time.