Death, taxes, and Arsenal missing out on key summer transfer targets.
It’s just the way of life, especially if you’re reading as an Arsenal fan. Supporters of the Gunners now seem to be split between blaming the board and criticising their long-serving manager, Arsene Wenger, for the club’s mishaps in the transfer market.
Nevertheless, with each passing summer the list of individuals who would have undoubtedly added quality to Arsenal’s team but chose alternative destinations grows.
With a week to go until the opening clash against Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Wenger’s squad is looking thin behind the façade of unconvincing players altogether lacking in quality, such as Theo Walcott.
Arsenal fans have cast their fears not only about who will convert chances created by Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil but who can truly replace Per Mertesacker in the long-term. You will not meet many fans convinced by Calum Chambers quality, nor those who believe that Rob Holding is ready to be thrown into the lions den as a mere pup to Premier League football.
In the past few days, all attention has been focused on Arsenal signing three main players: Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez and Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi, all of whom ply their trade in positions which Arsenal desperately lack any extraordinary footballers.
However, caution has to be urged for Gunners fans now, especially after the club’s failings in the market this summer.
So, just who have Arsenal missed out on signing in the last two months? Let’s take a look.
[tie_slide] Jamie Vardy
Ah, Jamie Vardy. One of the many names that Arsenal fans curse through gritted teeth. The Leicester frontman enjoyed an incredible season for the Foxes, scoring 24 goals as Claudio Ranieri’s side romped to the title.
It was no surprise that many sides became interested in securing his services this summer nor was the fact that Arsenal tabled an offer for the 29-year-old.
Nevertheless, Vardy clearly wanted to repay Claudio Ranieri for revitalising his career. Gunners fans were outraged when the England international opted to stay with the champions, claiming it was ‘easy’ to turn Arsenal down.
[tie_slide] Djibril Sidibe
Sidibe looks to be a fine player with a big future at his feet should he be managed correctly. Is Monaco the right destination for him? Difficult to say, but Champions League football is almost guaranteed yearly, as is a place in the starting eleven.
However, aside from being a tax haven Monaco as a football club dwarf in comparison to Arsenal. Quite simply, Wenger moved too late to sign the versatile left-back and was left ruing his mistake when Sidibe signed for the French club.
[tie_slide] N’Golo Kante
Leicester’s undoubted magic trio last season consisted of Kante, Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, and the Gunners have aimed to sign all three. In Kante’s case, he had not the patience required to wait for his Arsenal transfer to be completed, and a private chat with Antonio Conte persuaded the Frenchman to become the Italian’s first signing at Stamford Bridge.
Granit Xhaka has been added to Arsenal’s midfield, but the former ‘Gladbach man would have had more license to roam with Kante to aid him in battles. The 25-year-old, like Sidibe, was certainly a player who was quite attainable for Arsenal.
[tie_slide] Gonzalo Higuain
I think we can wave goodbye to the slim chance of seeing Gonzalo Higuain grace the Premier League. That is unless the Argentinian finally decides to grant the wishes of Arsenal fans and join their club at the age of 33 after signing a five-year deal with Turin giants Juventus.
Yes, the transfer fee was extortionate, but Higuain is an incredible player and his addition would have sent a huge signal to the rest of the Premier League that Arsenal are a force to be reckoned with. With the current situation, that certainly cannot be said.
[tie_slide] Wissam Ben Yedder
Perhaps not the most prominent player in this list, but Ben Yedder is a talented forward and did remarkably well for a struggling Toulouse side during his four years there. Last season the French club avoided relegation by a single point, and Ben Yedder’s incredible 17 goals were the evident prime factor for that.
Sevilla have purchased a canny replacement for Kevin Gameiro at a cut-price fee of €9m. He may not have been the enormous star signing that Arsenal fans had hoped for, but Ben Yedder would have been the ideal partner for Olivier Giroud with options running out.
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