“It happened to us,” said Wenger. “It can happen to them.”
Intense speculation has embroiled Rooney over the past few days, with the striker said to be “angry and confused” by his treatment at Manchester United, according to The Telegraph.
Eight years, one month and 26 days ago, Patrick Vieira side-footed past a despairing Roy Carroll to hand Arsenal FA Cup glory at the expense of United in a dramatic penalty shootout.
It was the last time the Gunners lifted a trophy. Swiss defender Johan Djourou is the only remaining soul from that season’s squad—and even he’s been shipped out on loan at Hamburg.
The signs are always promising for Arsenal every season, whether it be their 2008 2-0 Champions League win in Milan or reaching the 2011 League Cup final, but they falter time after time. They boast a side of genuine quality—Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla could walk into any Premier League team—but are still missing that final component: a winner.
Rooney understands how to triumph, he’s served under the greatest winner of all-time in Sir Alex Ferguson and his experience can propel Arsenal toward success.
He needs a fresh start after enduring a difficult campaign last season, and the Emirates Stadium would be the ideal setting for him to get it.
His versatility means he could lead the Gunners line one week and slot in behind Olivier Giroud the next, interchanging with Cazorla and Theo Walcott as Arsenal ruthlessly dispatch their opponents.
With or without Rooney, a Premier League title challenge is probably beyond them this season, but his addition would strengthen their position in the top four and a domestic trophy would surely follow.
Manchester City, Chelsea and United will have their eyes firmly set on the title whilst Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool throw everything at breaking into the top four to secure Champions League qualification. That leaves the FA Cup and League Cup open for the Gunners. It might not be the success every fan longs for, but trophies breed success and attract the best players.
Rooney has the talent to take the Gunners to the next level. When Arsenal inevitably start to wobble, his determination and drive on the pitch can prevent them from caving in.
All Wenger has to do to end eight years of hurt is sign Rooney.