Another one that got away: Liverpool’s Sadio Mané.
According to a recent report in SportWitness, the Liverpool winger was attracting interest from Arsenal long before his switch to Red Bull Salzburg in August of 2012.
He impressed in the Austrian Bundesliga before forcing a move to England three seasons ago, where he flourished at Southampton and was linked with an upgrade – both Manchester United and Liverpool were heavily linked with the Senegalese forward’s signature at the time.
However, he could’ve joined Arsenal before all of his aforementioned moves, but they passed up the opportunity to sign him for what would’ve been a bargain price at the time.
As quoted by an article in French newspaper L’Equipe, Mady Toure revealed the fact that he had contacted Arsenal scout Gilles Grimandi at the time during his days at Metz in Ligue 2 but said back then that he wasn’t good enough to play for the Gunners.
“He replied that he [Mané] was insufficient… like others,” was a quote SW took from Grimandi, one that has, in hindsight, proven costly in terms of a potential long-term attacking investment on Arsenal’s part.
The Reds have only won one match from eight in all competitions to start the new year and the absence of the 24-year-old winger has been discussed as one of the main reasons why their creativity in the final third has consequently stifled whilst he’s on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal.
If only we had signed the forward a few years ago… he wouldn’t be playing such a pivotal role in Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge this term.