Odil Ahmedov would have been an Arsenal player in 2012 if not for Anzhi Makhachkala’s owner.
Ahmedov was a central midfielder playing in Russia when he came close to joining Arsenal.
At the time, he was Anzhi Makhachkala’s player of the year, beating the likes of Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto’o to the award.
He was all set for a big move to Arsenal, but Anzhi’s owner, Suleyman Kerimov, prevented it from happening.
“It’s true that Arsene Wenger wanted me to play for him,” he told Ximmin Evening News (via Goal.com).
“However, Anzhi spent a huge amount of money at that time and our boss [Suleyman Kerimov] had no intention of selling me to make money.
“He had a burning ambition to win the championships, so I understand his decision to halt the transfer.”
The Uzbeki midfielder remained at Anzhi until 2014 before moving to Krasnodar.
He would spend three more seasons in Russia before moving to Shanghai SIPG in China, where he currently plays.
Back in 2012, Arsenal were certainly looking for new midfielders.
Alex Song had just left the club for Barcelona, while Aaron Ramsey was still getting back to his best following his leg-break.
Ahmedov would have been an unusual signing given how much of an unknown quantity he was, but could have been decent cover for the club that season.
In the end, he’s had a decent, and surely lucrative, career, so things haven’t turned out too badly for him.