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Tuesday 04 June 2013

On this day: Petit joins Wenger's revolution

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall the Monaco defender joining Arsenal

  • Arsene Wenger presents new signings Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars

  • Converted to a defensive midfield role, Petit soon became a key part of the team

  • Petit formed an formidable midfield partnership with Patrick Vieira

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: 4 June 1997 - Emmanuel Petit signs for Arsenal

It was the first official summer of Arsene Wenger's reign at Arsenal and defender Emmanuel Petit was one of a raft of new players brought to the club in 1997.

Nicolas Anelka, Matthew Upson and Marc Overmars had been added to the Arsenal squad with Petit reunited with his former Monaco coach.

Mainly used on the left side of defence in France, the 26-year-old was converted into a defensive midfielder by Wenger to devastating effect. He soon formed a dynamic midfield partnership with compatriot Patrick Vieira as the pair provided power, drive and protection in the middle of the pitch.

The duo were key components in Wenger’s construction of a side who could counter-attack at pace and in his first season in London, Petit won the Barclays Premier League and FA Cup double.

He made a total 85 appearances for Arsenal, scoring nine goals, before leaving with Overmars for Barcelona in 2000.

Petit returned to England in 2001, signing for Chelsea, where he spent three seasons.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember Arsenal completing the signing of Emmanuel Petit