Having watched the defensive side of their team capitulate against Greek champions Olympiakos on Tuesday night, Arsenal fans were left wondering why Arsene Wenger did not sign an outfield player in the summer.
The Frenchman will tell you that demand was far in excess of supply and that he could not find a player to improve his squad for a reasonable amount of money. Having seen Anthony Martial move to Manchester United for an initial £36million–potentially £58m– you could argue he was right.
But one player Arsenal fans had expected to see arrive at the Emirates Stadium was Southampton star Morgan Schneiderlin. French, good on the ball and with homegrown status to boot, the 25-year-old was everything a modern-day Wenger signing should be.
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Not only that, the Gunners were in dire need of a defensive midfielder cut in the shape of the Saints star. Francis Coquelin looked good, but Mikel Arteta had spent two-thirds of the season out with a serious calf injury and had just turned 33-years-old. Mathieu Flamini also looked to be on his way out.
At £25m, Schneiderlin was one of few players who left for, arguably, a reasonable price and Arsenal certainly had the money to meet Southampton's asking price. However, it was Manchester United who eventually signed him.
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But, according to the Evening Standard, Schneiderlin was more than ready to sign for Arsenal before the Red Devils came calling. Not only would he have been playing under a French football icon in Wenger, but he would have also stayed in the south of England.
With Arteta, Flamini and Coquelin, Wenger eventually decided not to make a bid, essentially handing a top midfielder to his Premier League title rivals. He dithered for months and Louis van Gaal seized the opportunity, coaxing the Frenchman to Old Trafford with a huge £150,000-a-week deal.
Schneiderlin now has the perfect chance to show Wenger exactly what he missed out on when United travel to north London on Sunday for a crunch clash at the Emirates.
Should Arsenal have signed Morgan Schneiderlin? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!
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