Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is an Arsenal player now, but intervention from Spurs could have seen things play out very differently.
Arsenal confirmed the signing of Aubameyang much earlier than we all expected.
The transfer was caught up in an elaborate game of dominoes that involved one too many players for Arsenal’s liking.
The merry-go-round, as it’s been called, involved Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea.
For Aubameyang to go to Arsenal, Michy Batshuayi had to go to Dortmund, and in turn, Olivier Giroud, or any other striker, had to go to Chelsea.
It all worked out in the end, but it could have been much more complicated.
As reported by David Ornstein, Tottenham could have gotten involved.
Merry-go-round: Giroud was lined up to replace Aubameyang at Dortmund then got offer from Chelsea & was keen, so Dortmund turned to Batshuayi. But Chelsea baulked at Giroud fee so discussed Batshuayi/Llorente swap with Spurs, which nobody agreed on. Deadlock #AFC #BVB #CFC THFC pic.twitter.com/HA6ymZ6IiN
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) January 29, 2018
Chelsea’s alternative to Giroud was Fernando Llorente, who only joined Spurs in the summer.
Nobody agreed on anything back then, but in the January 31st edition of L’Equipe, there’s a story about how Spurs offered Llorente to Chelsea.
There could have been a scenario where Chelsea dropped their interest in Giroud and swapped Batshuayi for Llorente.
In that case, Dortmund would have had to look else where for Aubameyang’s replacement, and the deal wouldn’t have gone ahead.
It would have left us either waiting around in hope or desperately trying to convince Giroud to join Dortmund.
It’s cynical to say so, but you wonder if Spurs’ late intervention was motivated by a desire to stop Arsenal signing a top player, rather than genuinely improving their squad.
Alternatively, Chelsea may have targeted Llorente to scare Arsenal into lowering their price.
Thankfully, we won’t need to know if any of that was the case, because Aubameyang is now a Gooner.