Now at Manchester City, Hargreaves has battled through a series of long term injuries since joining Old Trafford from Bayern Munich. He became a free agent over the summer and City snapped him up ahead of Wenger on a pay-per-play type contract, and could face the Gunners on Tuesday night at the Emirates.
Wenger, who intends to field a side of youth and experience against City, admitted he looked Hargreaves at various points of his career most notably recently in the summer.
It’s hard to miss years through injury. When they come back it shows great mental strength and Owen Hargreaves has that.
He was a regular in the England national team and now for years he has not played at all. Everybody is happy to see him back.
When he played at Bayern Munich we followed him very closely but it was big transfer – I think he was sold to Manchester United for £17 million at the time and he only had one year left on his contract. So we didn’t move in for him at that time.
In the summer, you consider it but we had players like Frimpong and Coquelin coming back – Song and Diaby in these defensive positions where we were not really in the need.
Hargreaves would have been an interesting signing even for Wenger, however it would have prevented even more opportunities for the likes of Coquelin and Frimpong who both are very talented footballers and require game time.
Luckily the Gunners didn’t purchase Hargreaves before United, because with Arsenals injury curse, the former England international would have suffered the same fate if he chose North London instead of Manchester!