There were rumblings about a potential move for Russian international Aleksandr Kokorin over the summer, but it’s now been confirmed that we made an approach to bring the 24-year-old to North London on loan, as reported by ESPN.
Our need for a striker was obviously great, with many fans calling for a replacement for Olivier Giroud. Kokorin is certainly not the world class striker we need, but I’m sure a number of fans would have taken the ‘better than nothing’ view to his transfer.
The Dinamo Moscow star’s move was vetoed however, with club coach Andrey Kobelev confirming the reports – insisting that a loan was not in his best interest.
“I was among those who vetoed this deal,” he told Sovetsky Sport. “We think that a loan move to Arsenal is a wrong option for Kokorin. He deserves better. Everyone is laughing, but he has a great potential, and the best coaches in the world see it.
“The point is that if a club pays good money for you, you are given time for adaptation. If a club invests a small sum, he can be benched after a couple of games and returned to his mother club.
“For example, if [Gareth] Bale was loaned to Real Madrid he wouldn’t have become the Bale he is now, because it took him time to fit into the system. Kokorin deserves to play at a decent club, and he has to move there as a fully developed player who can deliver results.”
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Despite missing out on a move from Moscow to Arsenal, Kokorin’s agent Kirill Loginov insists his client is not too bothered about missing out on an Emirates switch.
“Aleksandr has chances to play [at a big club] if everything will be OK, and it doesn’t have to be Arsenal,” Loginov told sports.ru. “Dinamo refused to let him go to Arsenal, but that doesn’t mean that he was desperate to go there. I don’t remember them winning any titles, apart from the FA Cup, so… I don’t know [how attractive they are].
“There was an offer, it was reviewed and refused. The decision was absolutely right. There were some quite disrespectful parts in that offer. He has very good relations with the Dinamo coaching staff and management, and naturally was updated about everything.”
Loginov claims there were some disrespectful parts to our offer, but he himself was downright disrespectful about Arsenal; and even if we were still interested in his client, he may have just burnt some serious bridges. Arsene Wenger may have seen Kokorin as a decent short time option until someone better came along, but he’s certainly not an elite striker. It’s hard to see any clubs bigger than Arsenal coming in for him, so perhaps his agent shouldn’t be sneering too much at our FA Cups.
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He can hardly really talk about trophies either, as Dinamo Moscow haven’t won a cup since 1995 – and the last time they won the league was 1976. If he thinks Kokorin is on his way to Barcelona, then good for him; hopefully he has fun on his flying pig.