Arsenal has been one of the most decorated clubs in England. The Gunners have won 13 league titles, along with 14 FA Cups.
Recent history, however, has not been so kind to them. They won the Premier League without losing a single game in 2003/04, but haven’t won it since then. Disappointing exits in Europe have been omnipresent. Moreover, since 2016 Arsenal hasn’t played Champions League football.
However, could things be any different? A club like Arsenal is always in the market for players and wants to sign the best ones. Perhaps a few that they missed out on could have made their recent history more glossy.
The Mirror lists a few players who could have been the difference-makers for the Gunners, had they signed them.
The big names missed by Arsenal
Suarez was the subject of an Arsenal bid after a successful 2012-13 season with Liverpool. The Gunners looked for a long-term successor for Robin van Persie.
Arsene Wenger claimed that he was told that Suarez had a release clause of 40 million pounds. Suarez’s agent told him that if a bid was made above that figure, Liverpool will sell him.
Arsenal then quite hilariously bid 40 million and 1 pound.
A move did not go through.
Instead, Suarez stayed at Anfield and led the Reds to within a whisker of winning the Premier League. We didn’t find out the reality about that clause and the Merseyside club’s response until years later. Whatever it was, it led to one of the funniest tweets by Liverpool’s owner.
Arsenal had been the home of Kolo Toure. It could have been the club for his brother Yaya Toure as well, but it was not the case.
Arsene Wenger knew him for a long time and was eager to see if he could replicate his brother’s success. But he did not have a European passport, and hence could not be registered.
But when the opportunity arose, Yaya did not impress Wenger. He felt that he was not up to the mark and let go of the youngster.
I have known Yaya Toure since he was 15. We had an agreement for him to come here but we had a problem because he had to wait for a European passport. The only problem was to fix his position because he could play centre-back, as a second striker or in midfield. In a pre-season game at Barnet he played as a second striker, and was completely average!Arsene Wenger on a young Yaya Toure
It was only years later that the North London outfit realized what they missed out on.
Arsenal invited the legendary striker to give a trial. It was after a breakthrough season at Malmo. Arsene Wenger wanted him to have a trial, but Zlatan did not fancy the idea.
I waited for him (Wenger) to convince me that I should join Arsenal. But he didn’t even try. He never actually made me a serious offer, it was more, ‘I want to see how good you are, what kind of player you are. Have a trial’. I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.”Zlatan Ibrahimovic on potentially signing for Arsenal in 2000
Obviously, at that time it would have been seen as disrespectful for a teenager to act like that. However, as years have passed, we see that he actually lives up to his pompous statements.
Arsenal fans will forever think about what a Zlatan and Thierry Henry partnership would have been like.
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