Despite Arsenal’s struggles in 2020/21, there is no denying that Mikel Arteta’s squad is brimming with exciting English talent.
Bukayo Saka, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah are all regulars in the Gunners’ matchday squads.
Then you have Calum Chambers to return from injury and the exciting prospect that is Emile Smith-Rowe waiting in the wings.
For the first time in years, there’s a huge English influence over Arsenal’s squad and it could have been even stronger.
Club legend Tony Adams has revealed that his beloved side almost secured the signing of one of the most exciting English teenagers in the world.
Adams has stated that Sven Mislintat and Arsenal had pretty much agreed a deal with Birmingham City for Jude Bellingham.
However, a power shift at the Emirates that saw Mislintat ousted and Edu brought in as his replacement led to the move collapsing.
“I think it got lost, this one, in the transition of the chief scout at Arsenal going out,” Adams said on Sky Sports’ The Football Show, per The Sun. “He [Bellingham] was spotted very early on, not by me, by the Arsenal recruitment office.
“The chief scout was absolutely bowled over by him and the great prospect that he is.
“He had more or less done the deal, but at that moment the new sporting director Edu came in from Brazil and had no European experience and no UK experience.
“I think it got lost in the transition, Edu didn’t know nothing about this player. Unfortunately the chief scout had the deal kind of done – we missed that one unfortunately.
“They are the type of players we need to get hold of at the Arsenal if we’re ever going to develop and go forward.
“These kind of players we need to tie up, get them to the Arsenal and build a phenomenal league team.
“He’s a great talent but unfortunately he’s not joined the right club.”
Borussia Dortmund swooped in ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, securing Bellingham’s signature for an initial fee of £22m.
The German side are already reaping the benefits of the transfer following the 17-year-old’s impressive start to the 2020/21 season, one which has seen him receive an England call up by Gareth Southgate.
- The 2020/21 Premier League table has been predicted
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s statistics this season are awful
- Which team’s academy has the most active players?