Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Papu Gomez this month, before agreeing a deal to bring Martin Odegaard in on loan.
The Gunners had been strongly linked with a move to bring in an attacking midfielder this month, having recently adapted their formation to accommodate an attacking midfielder.
Emile Smith Rowe has so far stamped his authority on the role, thoroughly impressing since Boxing Day, but we had insufficient cover.
Martin Odegaard has now arrived until the end of the season from Real Madrid, and will provide the necessary back-up, but Fabrizio Romano has just revealed that we were offered Papu Gomez, a player he deems as ‘one of the best players in the world’.
Romano told his Here We Go Podcast: [There was] an opportunity of Papu Gomez [moving to] Arsenal but they never considered him as a serious contender for the role of number 10. They were looking for a player – obviously, they signed [Martin] Odegaard, so there is nothing going on right now.
“But, Papu Gomez was a possibility [who was] offered [but] they were looking for a young player and not for an [older player] – respecting Papu Gomez because, in my opinion, he’s one of the best players in the world.”
Gomez has been one of the most influential players in Atalanta’s fearsome attack, with 59 goals and 71 assists to his name from his 252 appearances for the his former side (as stated on TransferMarkt).
The Argentine forward has since joined Sevilla in La Liga, but I can’t help but wonder if he could not only have provided valuable competition to Smith Rowe, but also teach him some lessons which could have helped him grow into his new role.
What kind of effect will Odegaard likely have on ESR?