Despite the numerous transfer links to players who we were reportedly interested in, or approached to join Arsenal this past summer, only four first-team players were signed during the transfer window.

This article looks back at seven of the players across Europe that Arsenal definitely tried to sign back in the summer months.

Manuel Locatelli

The talented central midfielder, 18, has already seen his stock rise this season after an excellent start to the campaign in Serie A with AC Milan.

However, things could’ve been different if he had signed a deal to join the Gunners a few months back. Theo Walcott, whose form was faltering to say the least towards the end of last season, was rumoured to be part of a possible cash-plus-player deal to join the Italians.

The deal went cold, and Milan’s hierarchy are now eager to extend the midfielder’s current contract as an effective means to scare off potential suitors in future.

Antoine Griezmann

Given the forward’s form for both club and country, it’s no real surprise that Arsenal were interested in signing Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann – and seemed hopeful that a deal could be completed after the conclusion of the European Championships if he was interested in a move away from Spain.

However, that was the main reason why the 25-year-old decided to remain in La Liga, as he was settled and his family were said to be “enjoying life there”, meaning there was no need to leave.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 01: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid (R) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Atletico Madrid team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Rostov at Vincente Calderon on November 1, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 01: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid (R) celebrates scoring his side’s first goal with his Atletico Madrid team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Rostov at Vicente Calderon on November 1, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Since then, Griezmann’s improvised contract with Atletico has a release clause of £85.5m installed, which means it’s unlikely that Arsenal will be prepared to try again in the summer.

Gonzalo Higuain

Despite previously failed efforts to sign the Argentine, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis publicly admitted the fact he turned down an offer from Arsenal to sign the striker in the summer.

Juventus paid the 28-year-old’s release clause, a whopping €90m, and it’s now a case of what might’ve been if we had acted with more decisiveness previously.

Deportivo forward Lucas Perez was signed as an attacking option with Danny Welbeck sidelined until the New Year, but the gulf in quality and experience between the two frontmen is stark.

Riyad Mahrez

Despite rampant speculation suggesting the Algerian winger was angling for a move away from the King Power, Mahrez decided to stay as a Leicester player.

Arsenal and Chelsea were believed to be the two English heavyweights interested in signing him, but a proposed deal fell through in spite of a offer in the region of €41m reportedly being offered.

Mahrez’s importance to the side could not be understated, and although N’Golo Kante left for lucrative pastures new, the 25-year-old has surprisingly remained in a summer where he had plenty of tempting options to choose from.

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Jose Fonté

Claude Puel had to publicly claim the fact that centre-back Jose Fonté was not disturbed by transfer rumours regarding his future.

With the possibility of Shkodran Mustafi’s transfer falling through at the final hurdle, it was no surprise to see more central defenders linked with a move to the Emirates in the final two weeks before deadline day.

Fonté, who has been with the Saints since 2010, was also linked to a potential Manchester United switch after his excellent summer with Portugal as they prevailed in the European Championships. Southampton’s club captain, 32, wasn’t a credible transfer target as such, but one that was explored with a view to sign if the Mustafi deal didn’t cross the line.

Ricardo Rodriguez

The talented left-back, 24, had been heavily linked with an Arsenal move after his impressive defensive displays at the European Championships with his native Switzerland.

Coupled with the fact that he is best friends with one of the Gunners’ new acquisitions in Granit Xhaka, and the transfer links appeared more believable.

He felt he wanted a step-up and was actively seeking Champions League football, something that Arsenal would’ve been able to offer. However as this article explains, the proposed deal itself wasn’t as straightforward as it could’ve been.

In the end, the possible move failed to materialise.

FREIBURG GERMANY - NOVEMBER 5: Ricardo Rodriguez (L) of VFL Wolfsburg celebrates his goal during the Bundesliga match between Sport Club Freiburg and VfL Wolfsburg at Schwarzwald-Stadion on November 5, 2016 in Freiburg, Germany. (Photo by Michael Kienzler/Bongarts/Getty Images)
FREIBURG GERMANY – NOVEMBER 5: Ricardo Rodriguez (L) of VFL Wolfsburg celebrates his goal during the Bundesliga match between Sport Club Freiburg and VfL Wolfsburg at Schwarzwald-Stadion on November 5, 2016 in Freiburg, Germany. (Photo by Michael Kienzler/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Jamie Vardy

Last but not least, the player who caused a summer frenzy.

Arsenal had activated the 29-year-old’s £20m release clause, which was an option in his contract exclusive to clubs in the Champions League.

Over the space of a weekend, news continued developing and a four-year contract deal was in place to take Vardy to north London. All that was left, was for the player himself to decide whether he’d stay or go.

In the end, after some deliberation, it turned out that Vardy would rather stay at Leicester – meaning the Gunners had to focus their attention on other attacking alternatives.