Arsenal legend confirms Wenger missed out on N’Golo Kante

The Arsenal legend Sol Campbell is currently working for Arsenal promoting this summer’s tour of Australia, and in an interview with WAToday he has confirmed that the Gunners had arranged to buy N’Golo Kante from Leicester last summer, and is at a loss to understand why the deal fell though. Kante instead moved across London to Chelsea is set for his second Premier League winners medal in two years.

Sol Campbell said: “It’s a shame, a lot of the recruiting has disappointed me in some players. Missing out on Kante was a massive thing for me. I don’t know what went on, why we didn’t get him. I think it was all set and it’s a shame because you see what he’s done at Chelsea. Those kind of things hurt me as a player, that we were so close to getting those types of players and then they go elsewhere,”

“They need somebody like a Kante. That was a real loss, they need someone like him. They might look at that area again. The centre-forward scenario, that’s not going to go away,” Campbell said. “Every time a team wins anything, you usually have three really good centre-halves. I think they need to train-up the guys there to get even better and challenge them to get better or they need to bring in another established centre halves.”

A couple of weeks ago, a French expert also confirmed that Arsenal were in the running for Kante, and also revealed that they had turned him down during his time at Caen. Julien Laurens said: “They looked closely, they went to see him at the French camp – Arsene went to see him a lot. They just didn’t think he had enough to make it into their team and then it was too late.

“Then they tried to sign him last summer and he decided to go to Chelsea.

“It’s a weird one, but again I don’t know why bigger clubs weren’t there when he was at Caen because it was so obvious [signing Kante].”

So how different would our season have been if we had got Kante AND Xhaka to sort out our midfield? And the question must be asked… Why did we lose out on signing him?

Sam P


  1. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Like Wenger missing out on Xabi Alonso by offering £15 million instead of £18 million that Liverpool wanted. Just £3 million difference for a brilliant player.

    Missing out on Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Messi, Hazard, Costa, Pogba, Drogba, PIque, Coman, Toure (YaYa), Suarez, Cavani and Benzema LOL

    1. Incarnate says:

      And Vieira, and Kolo Toure, amd Campbell on a free from Spurs, and Henry, and Fabregas and Kanu? When an unknown 16 year old Ibrahimovic tells a manager who counts Dennis Bergkamp, David Seaman and Tony Adams among his former pupils that “Zlatan don’t do trials” what exactly do you suggest he should have done? Pat him on the back and say “it’s ok, in fact we’ll get Thierry to polish your boots”. There’s a fine line between defiance and disrespect, Henry Is defiant, Ibrahimovic and his boss, Mourinho are just disrespectful. As for the others, if we had a David Dein, the one our visionless board had alienated, I am damn sure we would have signed a few of those names, the rest can be assigned to human error… afterall, Fergie missed out on Ronaldinho.

      1. bran99 says:

        but most of those missed signings were due to Wenger’s stinginess. Drogba was less than a million pounds but still the old man wanted a big discount from that. and many more who could have changed our fortunes since then. but it was so easy for him to buy flops every now and then even though the whole world knew who want at the moment, Chamack, the 5 signings after 8-2 demolition by Man U, etc.

        1. Break-on-through says:

          Wages was the problem back then concerning Drogba era. The big names back then we literally got blown out of the water by City and Che and the rest. As for Chamack, yeah that one Chamacks of incompetence.

  2. gmv8 says:

    This is precisely why we need a director of football – Arsenal were buying the right people when David Dein was in charge of that side – people don’t seem to realise that when Arsenal were great, it was a combination of Dein and Wenger, not just Wenger. With a director of footnall, hopefully ‘could have’ will change to simply ‘have’.

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