Arsenal looked at Schalke defender Benedikt Höwedes as a possible replacement for Shkodran Mustafi over the summer, according to the player’s agent.
Höwedes ended up completing a loan move to Juventus, but his agent claims Arsenal were one of many the teams interested. He told Bild: “When this new situation [losing the captaincy] arrived we get in touch with [Juve Sporting Director Fabio] Paratici,” reports the Daily Star.
“We also were in touch with other clubs, such as Roma, Leicester and Arsenal because we knew Inter wanted Mustafi. It was soon clear that if he makes the move, it would be Turin. That was Benni’s favourite from the very beginning.”
Mustafi put in a particularly disappointing performance against Stoke City as Arsenal lost 1-0, and it seems that either the player or the club decided at that point that it was better if he moved on. However, against the wishes of both, according to David Ornstein, Mustafi ended up staying and starting Arsenal’s match against Bournemouth in the centre of defence.
Höwedes is now 29 years old, and Juventus have an option to buy at the end of the season when his loan deal expires, so this summer may have been the last chance for the Gunners to bring him to North London. Hopefully his German compatriot will kick on now and show why Arsenal spent so much money to bring him in from Valencia in the first place.