He was the subject of a fair few of the many Arsenal transfer rumours doing the rounds of the football media this summer, but we now know that Pedro Rodriguez Laresma will not be joining us from Barcelona. According to Arsene Wenger, however, this particular transfer move was never on the cards.
While it is our fierce Premier League rivals Chelsea that have signed the Spanish international, it is Man United, Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward with a hefty helping of transfer egg on their faces, not us. All the noise in recent weeks has been about United closing in on the deal and it seems clear that they have had their plans hijacked at the last minute.
But why were the Gunners not one of the EPL clubs seriously chasing the signature of this 27-year old forward who has won almost every trophy there is to win? Well the Frenchman has made his thoughts on the matter very clear in a statement reported on the Arsenal website.
Wenger said, “It was a surprise to me because I thought he was landing at Manchester but he finally landed in London. The story was out for such a long time that I thought he was going to go to Manchester, but then suddenly in 24 hours [he joined Chelsea]. We’ve seen that before on the transfer market. I don’t know what happened exactly.
“No [Arsenal were not offered him]. We have many players on the flanks. Many, many players.”
If you think about it, the boss is saying more than one thing here. The obvious one is that we simply do not need any wide players with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and also the midfielders like Wilshere and Ozil before you even get to young Gunners like Gnabry, Iwobi and all in the squad. It is hard to disagree.
The second thing he is saying is that Pedro is not a versatile player, or at least Wenger does not see him as an option through the middle. Could this possibly be a little dig at Morinho and Chelsea by any chance?