Pundit Paul Merson has claimed that Arsenal decided to look away from Said Benrahma this summer because of his failure to perform in the latter stages of last season.
Our club was believed to be following the progress of Brentford’s Said Benrahma strongly last term, but the club has signed Willian instead.
The club no longer look to be adding to that role this term, and Merson insists that Arsenal’s decision to overlook the Algerian should not come as a shock.
“No, I am not,” Merson told Sky Sports (via HITC). “When you go to see a player and you go to see how good they are, when they are playing week in and week out, yes.
“But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty like it did at the end of the season when it comes down to them going to Stoke having to win to get promoted or Barnsley at home and then the final. He didn’t really perform.
“On the other hand, Ross Barkley has just gone out on-loan. You are talking about one of the talented kids. Do you take Barkley on loan for nothing? Or do you pay £30 million for a gamble? I like the lad but I still think there is a lot of work to be done.
“In this day and age, £30 million for a Championship player. I personally think it’s a lot of money. That’s not happening in the Premier League.”
Arsenal look like they may have opted for cheaper alternatives to their targets, as they look to firm up other areas of the team, with a central midfielder and a central defender in Gabriel Magalhaes appearing more important this summer.
With a bigger budget, could Arsenal have looked to Benrahma instead of Willian?