Did Arsenal make a mistake overlooking in-form PL star in January? (Opinion)

Arsenal were claimed to have turned down the chance to sign Dejan Kulusevski in January despite following him closely over the last two years, ultimately allowing him to join Tottenham, but was it really a mistake?

It would be easy to see his form and think we made a major blunder, but looking at our current first-choice XI and our squad overall, his signing would hardly have made sense.

Assuming we did sign him, there is little reason to believe that he would have picked up many minutes in our team with the Emile Smith Rowe already being limited to the bench due to the form of Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, while Nicolas Pepe is also waiting in the wings for minutes despite being our club’s all-time record signing.

Kulusevski would have to have shown enough in a short amount of time in training to convince us that he should get his chance, and would then have to have tried to show what he can do on the pitch in limited substitute appearances, which would have been unlikely.

It is easy to look narrow-mindedly at his form at Spurs, who play in a different system to us regardless, and believe we dropped the ball on a player we scouted extensively (as reported by TheAthletic, but a little bit of lateral thought would lead you down the line to believe his signing in January would only have been for the future, and we would have likely lost out to Spurs who were more actively looking to throw him into the first-team.

Do any of you actually believe Arteta would have given him the chance to start over ESR, Martinelli, Saka or Odegaard after a short time in north London?


Tags Dejan Kulusevski


  1. Really pains me,he would have solved our striker goal drought crisis but we can make amends in the summer but might be too late.what a shame!!!

  2. I bet he could be a poor man’s Vlahovic, because he is quite tall and possesses a strong left foot. Since he played as a winger at Juventus, Arsenal might not be interested due to having Saka and Pepe for the RW position

    I don’t think Arsenal had a chance to sign him though, because Spuds have ex-Juventus employees as their director of football and manager. Let’s move on by chasing another forward like Adeyemi or De Ketelaere

  3. Any mistake or not will only come to fruition if Spud get 4th and we don’t from a position of strength over them in January.

  4. Unless he played him as a striker it would have only taken minutes away from Martinelli and Saka.

    Those 2 need the minutes to continue their development and growth. If he would relegate Laca and Nketiah to the bench then yes, otherwise I’d rather stick with Martinelli and Saka.

  5. The real question is why are players like ESR, and Pepe being reduced to bit players while the likes of Xhaka and Lacazette are seen as being essential to Arteta’s non style of football. Kulesevski will likely deliver a killer punch in the Derby. It’s the way karma works with Arsenal. I worry about many issues at our club. Recently Xhaka is depressing me no end with his self proclaimed campaign to stick around and win Trophies for the fans. Fat Chance while he remains at the club. Also ESR is not being played to his strengths. He should be given the freedom to rove, delivering one twos and keeping the ball moving. Odegaard’s job in other words. Let’s not waste his talent, otherwise he would look good in Newcastle’s stripes. As for Lacazette’s non contributions. The least said the better

    1. I think we can’t compare ESR and Pepe to Xhaka and Laca.

      Arteta has chosen Saka over Pepe and with one game a week there is little possibility for rotation. I think Odegaard is preferred over ESR and so is Martinelli. I can not blame Arteta for that choice although I would give ESR the role Odegaard fills and have Odegaard be the backup.

      Laca and the fact we don’t have better options at striker will cost us 4th most likely and that might fall at the feet of Edu unless he was not given a budget for a striker.

      At the moment Xhaka is a must-start midfield player for us but given the fact he is not ideal or good enough and the fact Partey is injury prone this, IMO, requires a rebuild of those two positions for next season in addition to needing at least 2 strikers one of which should be top drawer. Now, what is the chance of us getting two new starters to replace Xhaka and Partey AND buy a top striker?

  6. Agree! It’s more like want him with the must-buy term in his loan deal.

    Can’t believe he is barely 22, judging from his poised play.

  7. ‘wanted him go’ I mean, for a measly 30 million pound?
    By the same token, why did we close the door on Guendozzi?

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