Wenger was tracking the Tottenham winger back when he was a young left-back at Southampton, alongside future Gunner Theo Walcott.
But while Walcott made the move Arsenal, Bale, now 23, headed to north London rivals Tottenham, where he is now proving to be one of the best players in the country.
Wenger said: "We didn't take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and didn't want another left-back. I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield. He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well."
The Frenchman added: "The career of a player sometimes depends on playing in the right position."
- Sports & Recreation
- Theo Walcott
- Gael Clichy