Ligue 1 star Loic Perrin has confirmed once again that Arsenal did make an initial attempt to sign him during the winter transfer window, and that he would be interested in a departure from Saint-Etienne if it was good for his career.
The French centre-back found himself linked on and off with the Gunners during January, with it being claimed that Arsene Wenger wanted to bolster his back-line. However Arsenal ultimately opted for Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista, meaning that Perrin was left in the lurch.
Quotes carried today by Le 10 Sport appear to make it clear that the 29-year-old did have an opportunity to move to the Emirates Stadium, with the player himself stating that contact was made.
“I was contacted during the winter transfer window by Arsenal. It did not happen for various reasons. But clubs like that, obviously they make you think. This is what I've always said; if I am to leave Saint-Etienne, it's to take the next step. Arsenal was a club at that next level.”
"I was contacted during the winter transfer window by Arsenal"
With last night’s stunning 3-1 loss to AS Monaco in the Champions League fresh in the memory there may be a good deal of Arsenal fans ready to implore Wenger to seek new defensive options in the summer.
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The partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny is usually consistent enough, though injuries to the latter mean that both men being fit isn’t guaranteed, and question marks have been raised over the former’s mobility for some time now.
Perrin, who serves as captain at Etienne, obviously had Wenger interested to a degree, and so if he finishes the season in good form he could well be a target once more. Though not confirming it beyond all possible doubt the defender’s recent comments made it plain for all to see that he is searching for a big club to take him on, and the Gunners, who already have a number of French players in their squad, could be the ideal next step.
One last shot
If Perrin is to find a big club to further his ambitions then you get the feeling this summer will be the last chance he gets to do so. Turning 30 this year his time in what most consider the peak bracket for a professional footballer is running out, and having spent his entire senior career at Etienne a new challenge could be the perfect way for him to finish.
If he were to arrive it would potentially raise questions as to how Wenger sees the future of Mertesacker panning out. The big German has looked extremely susceptible at times this season, and if one were to pick a man more likely to be let go between him and Koscielny, it certainly wouldn’t be the latter.
Arsenal fans, do you think your defence needs strengthening this summer? Let us know in the comments box below...