Classic Transfer: Gunners sign winner of World Cup’s Best Young Player award 1994

first_img 2 2 Marc Overmars Arsene Wenger was a busy boy back in the summer of 1997.Although it has proven difficult to persuade Le Professeur to open his wallet in recent years, the French manager made a flurry of signings in an effort to establish the Gunners as a force in English football.The most eye catching was, arguably, that of Marc Overmars. The Dutchman’s ability was not in question, but his injury record certainly was.Having shone at the 1994 World Cup – where the Dutch teached the last eight and he won the Best Young Player award – Overmars also emerged as an important player in the Ajax side that won the Champions League in 1995, but the midfielder suffered a serious knee injury and was subsequently ruled out of Euro 1996.However, Wenger deemed the Netherlands international worthy of a £5.5 million fee, despite ongoing fitness doubts, and Overmars agreed to swap Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena for Highbury.Unveiled alongside Emmanuel Petit, Overmars’ arrival coincided with a new era in north London. The midfielder quickly established himself as a key component in the Gunners’ ranks; his electric pace proving to be a superb addition to the guile of compatriot Dennis Bergkamp and presence of Patrick Vieira. Overmars scored a total of 41 goals in 142 appearances for the north Londoners, the most important of which arrived at Old Trafford when he scored a crucial winner away to title rivals Manchester United that propelled the Gunners to a first championship in the Premier League era.With the league in the bag, Overmars netter at Wembley in the 1998 FA Cup final victory over Newcastle United as the club completed a famous Double.Unfortunately, such heights were never scaled again.Injuries restricted Overmars’ impact during the next two seasons yet he became the most expensive Dutchman in history when he signed for Barcelona for a fee of £25 million in 2008; not a bad piece of business by any means.Meanwhile, Overmars got injured on his debut for the Catalan club during a pre-season friendly against none other than his former employers.How? Lee Dixon hacked him down from behind, obviously.last_img read more