Arsene Wenger has been lambasted for his inactivity in the transfer market, with Petr Cech our sole summer signing. It seems as though Wenger looked to bring a number of faces to the club though, missing out on AS Monaco trio Anthony Martial, Layvin Kurzawa, and Geoffrey Kondogbia, as reported by the Metro (via Get French Football News).
A striker was high on our list of priorities, but Wenger was unable to secure the top class forward we needed. Martial was seemingly on his watch list, but ended up joining Manchester United instead.
Wenger was originally critical of the massive amount of money involved in Martial’s move to Old Trafford, questioning the €80m investment it took to secure a player who scored just 11 goals in Ligue 1.
“What happened last night with Monaco, who sold Martial to Manchester United for 80 million euros – Martial scored 11 goals in the French championship – that sums it up well,” he said (via the BBC).
“That means it’s not the money that’s missing at the moment, it’s not the desire of investment that is missing, it’s the number of players available who can strengthen the big clubs.”
It’s unclear whether Wenger would have been willing to shell out that much on a relatively unproven 19-year-old, but it looks as though he feels he was robbed of the chance. The French manager has recently hit out at Monaco, claiming the club insisted Martial wasn’t for sale at any price, before promptly selling him to Man United.
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“I was surprised they sold him,” admitted Wenger (via the Metro).
“The amount of money was massive.
“I thought they would maintain their word. He was not sellable. He was not on the list. He was one of the players Monaco did not want to sell, so we never made an approach for him.
“Only an acceptable amount of money after could do it. We always liked him, even when he was in Lyon.”
We’ll never know what would have happened had Manchester United not moved for Martial, but it seems Wenger was certainly interested.
Layvin Kurzawa and Geoffrey Kondogbia were also missed out on – with the pair joining PSG and Inter Milan respectively – but those two won’t be such big losses. We are already well stocked in left-backs, and while we could badly use reinforcements in midfield, Kondogbia’s current form at Inter Milan suggests we didn’t miss out on much.
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Although Wenger has to be held partially responsible for our lack of signings this past summer, it seems as though he wasn’t as inactive as many thought. The 65-year-old is clearly just picky over who he signs, wanting to bring players of the calibre of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil to the club rather than risky investments on squad players.