Arsenal fans have learned to cope with the tremendous sorrow when hearing about talents who were once close to joining the Gunners as budding prospects before growing into one of the world’s best.
Tony Adam’s interview with Sky Sports last year has only rubbed salt in the wounds of Gooners who are still rehabilitating from hearing how Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane almost graced the London Colney turf.
The four-time Arsenal league champion detailed Jude Bellingham’s ‘done deal’ in principle to join Arsenal had there not been a shift in leadership at the Emirates, adding the 18-year-old to a rued list of star-studded names.
Edu, who arrived at the Emirates with no prior experience of operating in the European – and more specifically British – transfer markets, took over at the wheel from former head of recruitment Sven Mislintat in 2019.
Adams claimed Mislintat had crafted a deal in place for the Englishman, but the Brazilian transfer chief’s arrival shut the door on proceedings.
Tom Canton, TheArsenal Way writer and presenter, Jake Stokes, trends writer and Chris Davison, content editor, explored some of the greatest players that the Gunner have missed out on in light of Bellingham’s ‘done deal’ with Arsenal, live on The Arsenal Way show on YouTube.
Davison began the discussion by revealing his biggest missed signing at Arsenal, noting how Mikel Arteta’s goal-scoring woes would have been a thing of the past had the Frenchman arrived in north London.
“Kylian Mbappe for me,” he said. “He’s a world-class player now, still very young and will continue to develop and improve.”
“I remember Arsene Wenger speaking about meeting up with the player to try and get him to north London and for whatever reason that didn’t happen in the end.”
Davison continued, dreaming of what could have been for the Gunners’ armoury highlighting how the club wouldn’t have any goal-scoring troubles.
“You just think of that frontline Arsenal could’ve had; Mbappe, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Bukayo] Saka and [Nicolas] Pepe – it’s an exciting thought,” he said.
Stokes added to the discussion, reminiscing about how close Cristiano Ronaldo was to joining the Gunners had it not been for Sir Alex Ferguson.
“For me, it’s got to be Ronaldo,” he said. “When we read about how close he was to joining Arsenal had it not been for a masterstroke by Sir Alex Ferguson – setting up that friendly and establishing a relationship with Sporting – any other transfer goes through.
“It just took that extra bit of thinking from Sir Alex, one of the greatest, to really beat Arsenal and that must’ve been a really hard blow to take for Wenger with that rivalry over the years.”
The viewers took a slice of The Arsenal Way pie and gave their most rued failed transfer targets, recalling some incredible stories.
Stephen Allen noted Gonzalo Higuain, while Eoin Young, in jest, suggested Julian Draxler after the club seemingly missed out on the German multiple times.
Where would Arsenal be now had they signed Ronaldo and Mbappe? And, who is the one player who you wished the Gunners had signed but didn’t?
Source by Football London