Arsene Wenger reportedly rejected recommendations from within the club to sign Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina, who now looks set to sign for Southampton.
Arsenal had apparently identified the Juventus midfielder as one of the players who could improve the midfield before last season had even ended.
According to the Evening Standard, the club identified Lemina using their performance comparison matrix and sent scouts to watch him before laying the foundations for a deal before the summer.
Wenger, however, decided to prioritise other areas and went on to sign Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette while also targetting Monaco’s Thomas Lemar. Lemina is now set to join Southampton for £18m after passing a medical.
He made just eight starts for Juventus in Serie A and has been far from first-choice during his two years in Italy. It’s uncertain if Arsenal will sign a central midfielder this summer, as apart from links to Nice’s Jean-Michael Seri, there hasn’t been much talk of one arriving.
It seems that, for the time being at least, Arsenal’s focus is still on strengthening the attack which might be short-sighted given the likes of Jack Wilshere and Mohamed Elneny have uncertain futures, while Santi Cazorla continues his recovery from a long-term injury.