The former Gunners centre-back said missing out on the Frenchman has been “massive” for Arsenal, who currently sit outside the Champions League places.
Campbell isn’t the only person to claim the former Leicester City man was on the radar of the Emirates club before something broke down.
French football expert Julien Laurens, who spoke on BBC Radio 5 Live, previously claimed Wenger passed up on signing the midfielder because he didn’t think he was good enough.
And Campbell, who made 146 appearances for the Gunners in two spells at the club, admitted to being “hurt” at seeing Arsenal miss out on him.
“It’s a shame, a lot of the recruiting has disappointed me in some players,” the former England international told WA Today.
“Missing out on Kante was a massive thing for me. I don’t know what went on, why we didn’t get him.
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Julien Laurens explains how Arsenal missed out on signing Kanté when he played for Caen
“I think it was all set and it’s a shame because you see what he’s done at Chelsea.
“Those kind of things hurt me as a player, that we were so close to getting those types of players and then they go elsewhere.”
Kante has received widespread praise this season for rejuvenating Chelsea’s midfield as they close in on the Premier League title.