It’s fair to say Arsenal have a mixed record when it comes to transfers. The list of the players the Gunners have missed out on over the years is painful viewing for supporters.
The fact Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic slipped through their fingers is a bitter pill to swallow. However, Arsene Wenger may just have revealed the latest transfer regret and it’s not one you’d expect.
The Frenchman has expressed annoyance over not rivalling Chelsea in their pursuit for Diego Costa in 2014. It proves an especially large blow considering Costa’s ultimately pivotal role in Chelsea’s ruthless charge to the title that season.
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Since moving to Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard has amassed an impressive 42 goals in 84 appearances. Although no one can truly replace Didier Drogba, Costa has gone a long way to doing so.
Moreover, the fee of £32 million that the Blues paid for the 27-year-old appears incredibly low by this summer’s standards. This is perhaps augmented by the fact they had no real rivals over the purchase.
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However, it has emerged that Arsenal would have proven such rivals if they had known that Costa was available.
According to the Telegraph, Arsene Wenger stated that we would have challenged his London neighbours for the Spaniard had he been more aware of the situation.
Asked if he would have made “a harder play” for Costa if he had known of his availability in 2014, Wenger said: “Yes. I like him as a quality striker. Costa is similar to Drogba. I like the qualities of the player. All the rest around is not needed.”
Such an explanation won’t go far in terms of satisfying Arsenal supporters though. You’d like to think the manager of a top side would be more aware of intended targets available in the market.
Nevertheless, it appears Wenger’s ignorance allowed Costa to fall in the hands of Chelsea and set the wheels in motion for the title winning season of 2014-15.
The regret has also been inflated by Costa’s dealings with Arsenal since the transfer fiasco.
In three appearances against the Gunners, the 27-year-old has found the net twice and gotten under the skin of most of the squad. Costa even forced Gabriel into a red card a year ago in what proved a cantankerous 2-0 victory.
Moreover, this weekend sees the ex-Atletico Madrid man lock horns with Arsenal yet again. How the game plays out will go a long way in establishing just how much Wenger regrets missing out on his man.
Wenger spoke about Costa's discipline ahead of the game and stated: “He looks since the start of the season to have cleaned up his act, that he behaves more focused on the game and that makes him more dangerous.
As far as Arsenal’s multitude of transfer gaffes go, this has to rank rather high.
Do you think this is Arsene Wenger's biggest ever transfer mistake? Have YOUR say in the comment box below