Hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to football. Recognising where the side went wrong or who we should’ve spent our money is a great aspect when considering how the team can do better. But for Arsene Wenger, sadly it seems he has missed out on one too many stars who could’ve been playing for Arsenal.’
Wenger has revealed in the past how he has come close to signing numerous world class players, many of whom are currently showing everyone up at the highest European stage. The likes of Messi and Ronaldo both feature on Arsene Wenger’s list, but instead the Gunners have had to settle for players with a lot less talent. Wenger has unearthed some magnificent footballing gems during his time at Arsenal, but the list of players he’s claimed to have been close to signing is quite unbelievable.
Today another player joins that list, with Wenger himself again admitting just how close he came to bringing N’Golo Kante to the Emirates. In a Daily Mail report, Wenger revealed when he held an interest in signing Kante: ‘When he was in France, when he was at Leicester. We cannot explain everything, but it is quite obvious when you look at where he has gone. I do not want to talk more about that. Transfers are transfers.’
Wenger clearly doesn’t want to talk too much about the reasons why Arsenal lost out to Chelsea when it came to signing Kante; but Le Prof is understood by many to be suggesting that Chelsea’s financial willingness played an advantage. Kante is understood to be on around £110,000 per week at Chelsea, which for a modern day football at club that challenges on both domestic and European fronts, isn’t a sum way above what is expected.
If Wenger is suggesting that finances is the reason behind why Chelsea beat Arsenal to the signing of Kante, then I’m afraid to suggest but it is a figure Arsenal surely could’ve afforded if the club really wanted him. Although I can’t imagine summer signing Granit Xhaka being on over £100,000 a week, if Arsenal want to compete amongst the best, they do need to pull their finger out and pay the competitive rate that’s going these days. Money may be what it came down to last summer when Kante had both Arsenal and Chelsea after him, but if Wenger lost out on Kante to Leicester the year before, then he can’t put that down to just money.
Kante is proving to be as vital at Chelsea as he was at Leicester and many will be suggesting that he currently looks on point to obtain his second league title in two seasons. Kante would’ve slotted nicely into Arsenal’s midfield and of course there was plenty of talk about Wenger’s interest in the Leicester trio of Vardy, Mahrez and Kante all summer. Would he have been an important signing for the Gunners? I’d reckon so, but all Wenger can do now is add him to his list of players that ‘almost’ joined Arsenal.