Tuesday 04 June 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
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.