Dennis Bergkamp joined Arsenal in June 1995 for the sum of £7.5 million. He grew to become considered one of Bruce Rioch’s first signings, breaking the membership’s switch file within the course of.
The Dutchman had carried out extremely for Ajax and for his nationwide group. Inter Milan got here in and signed him in 1993, however he struggled with the model of play in Serie A and wasn’t performed in his favoured place.
When Bergkamp joined Arsenal, he got here in at an important time within the membership’s trendy historical past. George Graham had left the membership in disgrace firstly of the yr and Paul Merson had additionally gone into rehab for drug use and a playing dependancy.
Graham’s assistant Stewart Houston took cost of the membership till the top of the season till a alternative may very well be discovered.
The membership went in for Bolton supervisor Bruce Rioch, who went out and spent near £12 million on Bergkamp and England captain David Platt.
All eyes have been on Bergkamp when the 1995/96 season began. Together with his price ticket nearly commanding strain to succeed from the outset, Bergkamp was anticipated to ship.
Arsenal have been unbeaten of their first six video games, successful three and drawing three. The one downside was that Bergkamp hadn’t scored but. It hadn’t gone unnoticed and opposing followers, pundits and journalists have been fast to get on his again. The picture on the backside of this text included Stuart Pearce’s opinions of Bergkamp’s transfer to England.
Pearce was the Nottingham Forest and England full again on the time and he said that Arsenal ought to have signed Stan Collymore as a substitute of Bergkamp!
It acquired worse just a few days later when Arsenal visited Hartlepool United within the Coca Cola Cup. They gained the match convincingly 3-0, however but once more Bergkamp failed to seek out the again of the online. One tabloid ran with the headline ‘Hartle-Idiot’, gloating that he was unable to attain in opposition to a Third Division facet.
4 days later, Southampton visited Highbury on an exquisite sunny afternoon. I used to be on the recreation and I used to be there to see Bergkamp lastly break his duck in his eighth match for the membership.
17 minutes have been on the clock when Glenn Helder broke down the left wing. He seemed up and noticed Bergkamp, his fellow Dutchman in house in the midst of the penalty space and delivered a pinpoint cross into the field.
Bergkamp caught the ball fantastically on the volley along with his proper foot and hit it low into the underside nook of the online. An enormous roar greeted the objective. It was the loudest celebration that I ever heard at our outdated house.
Our new celebrity was up and operating. He went on to attain sixteen objectives in 41 matches that season. Bergkamp retired in 2006 after ten years on the membership, with 120 objectives to his identify. Probably the most essential of them was on that balmy September afternoon again in 1995.