Arsene Wenger revealed Arsenal’s bid to sign Thomas Lemar was dead in the water and suddenly re-opened days before the end of the summer transfer window.
Wenger also hinted that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have been distracted in August’s clash with Liverpool due to uncertainties of his future at the club.
Although he didn’t mention any names in his latest quotes in Arsenal’s magazine, it seems pretty clear who he is talking about, in my opinion.
When asked about how the new transfer deadline would affect business, Wenger appeared to hint at the Lemar deal, saying: “Nobody knows. I believe people will adapt by making their decisions early,” reports the Express.
“What happens now is that you’re contacted 48 hours before the end of the transfer window and someone says, ‘Are you still interested in this player?’
“You worked on that deal for three months, they closed the door and then suddenly they open it up again with two days to go. It’s all rushed decisions and very hectic in the last week.”
Then he followed that up by appearing to make reference to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move, saying: “Once you go into games as well, you don’t know if the players are speaking to their agents on the afternoon of the game or to other clubs, so they don’t focus on the game. It’s not right how it was.”
If that is a reference to the Oxlade-Chamberlain situation, then it is clearly a fair one. Ox played against Liverpool, and performed very poorly, just a few days before moving to them on a permanent deal.
The main benefit of the new system, with the window closing before the season begins, is that this won’t happen again.
Aside from potentially interrupting the Champions League qualifiers, since the rest of Europe haven’t followed suit just yet, no player will play against the team they’re about to join in August.
In my opinion, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal looked pretty foolish during the Thomas Lemar saga. Rather than sticking to their guns, they made a U-turn on their pursuit for the Monaco man and ended up without him anyway. Losing Oxlade-Chamberlain so late in the window wasn’t ideal either.