Arsenal have endured a tiresome season which has left us with a huge uphill battle to try and make the top-four. Our completed signings of last summer have been blamed in some aspects, with arrivals Granit Xhaka, Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi having all come under fire in contrasting ways during the campaign.
One midfielder we could have signed in the close-season has now revealed that he had the opportunity to join us, only for him to end up staying with Roma instead.
Radja Nainggolan said; “It was a choice of life. I like the lifestyle over here.
“There was Arsenal, but how you [Szczesny] talk always about them maybe I should have joined them.”
The comments are taken tongue in cheek, given Wojciech Szczesny’s frustrations with his lack of first-team football in recent years, but he clearly considered the switch, and he could have shored up one of our weakest positions this term.
Xhaka, Francis Coqueilin and Mohamed Elneny have failed to earn a regular starting role this term, with first-choice option Santi Cazorla having missed the majority of the season through injury. This failure has most likely been a strong reasoning behind our recent switch in tactics to give more stability to our defence.
Nainggolan’s 10 league goals would no doubt have helped us during the campaign, and his all-round game could well have kept us in the race for the title had he been in the squad to cover for the injuries and suspensions.
It’s unclear whether he had the chance to join the Swiss international in North-London, or if he would have been an alternative option, but he is much the more experienced than Granit, and could well have made the difference in our tough campaign.
Did our midfield problems cause the formation change? Would Nainggolan have been a better option than Xhaka?