Unai Emery wanted to sign Liverpool star when he became Arsenal manager

Arsenal boss reveals how close he came to signing Liverpool Champions League star.

These days Fabinho is one of the first names on Liverpool’s team sheet and rightly so after helping the club win both the Champions League and the European Super Cup, but Fabinho could have ended up at Arsenal.

The Brazilian midfielder developed his career at AS Monaco and Unai Emery watched him as he helped Monaco win a league title and thrive in the Champions League.

The Spaniard added the midfielder to his list of targets when he finally got the Arsenal job, but Liverpool signed the Brazilian from under their noses.

Fabinho has gone on to make a name for himself at Anfield while Emery was forced to settle with Lucas Toreira who can’t even make the Arsenal team nowadays.

Fabinho did struggle in the early days of his Liverpool career and the Spanish manager used him as an example to urge fans to give new signing Nicolas Pepe time to adapt to the Premier League.

The Ivorian has struggled since the Gunners paid more than £70m for his signature last summer. Pepe missed Arsenal’s best chance to open the scoring against Sheffield United on Monday and has come under renewed scrutiny.

“We spent money with Pepe, but Pepe needs time to adapt to the Premier League,” he said.

“For example, in France I loved a lot Fabinho. He was in Monaco and I wanted to sign him for Paris Saint-Germain.

“When I arrived here, also his name was on the table to achieve to sign him, but he signed for Liverpool.

“The first six months he didn’t play, it was adaptation. But now he is amazing and I want the same with (Dani) Ceballos, with Pepe.

“We need patience, but Pepe is improving. On Monday, the key to win was with him. If he scores the first goal, it’s different.

“But it’s one process and I believe in him and I know we need time and patience. The supporters have patience, some more than others.”


  1. Hmmn it seems like unai has been in press conference since yesterday night all the article’s have been he said this he said that

  2. Lets be fair guys, Fabinho is exactly the type of DM we need to shore up our porous defence which will hopefully improve when our Manager selects Bellerin,Holding and Tierney on a regular basis.Xhaka and regrettably Torreria,are not up to the task i,m afraid.

  3. Just goes to show you that “the coach” has zero say in who is brought into the team he has to work with…

  4. Even if we got fabinho, the result wont be different. Torreira was a good player before we brought him. Emery screwed up everything..

    The crop of players we have at the moment are good enough for a top 4 finish if we have a good manager.

  5. We’re assuming he would be just as good as he is at Liverpool. Klopp didn’t introduce Fabinho into the team until months after he first purchased him. Klopp is a far better and smarter manager than Emery. Emery has Torreira and plays him as an advanced attacker. That tells you everything about our managers intelligence.

    1. RSH, if Faminho had been signed by Arsenal, unlike Klopp, Emery would have been criticized for easing him into the squad. Arsenal fans would want him to play straight away.

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