An agent close to Arsene Wenger, Sandor Varga, has revealed the names of three players the Frenchman has missed out on signing over the years.
While we often hear about Arsenal missing out on big players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo when they were younger, it’s rare to hear about the other youngsters that slip through the Gunners’ fingers.
Varga, who knows Wenger well, has spoken about three players the coach wanted to sign but never did.
Firstly, the agent reveals that Arsenal wanted Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Gunners were linked with the attacking midfielder back in 2016 but he ended up signing for Manchester City that year.
“When Zinchenko was 17, Arsène called me and asked me about him. Shakhtar beat Arsenal in the UEFA Youth League, Wenger saw 20 minutes of him and said ‘I need this guy’,” Varga told Sport-Express.
The 21-year-old has since been on loan at PSV.
Then, Varga names 27-year-old Krasnodar striker Fyodor Smolov.
The boss, impressed with the player’s goalscoring ability, apparently met with Varga and the Russian national coach Stanislav Cherchesov to ask about Smolov.
“I know that many clubs really considered his candidacy,” he said.
“I know for sure that Roy Hodgson was interested in Smolov. And Arsene Wenger asked me about this attacker.”
The striker has scored 48 goals in 64 league appearances for his Russian team.
Lastly, we have a familiar name: Aleksandr Golovin.
Arsenal were strongly linked with the 21-year-old midfielder over the summer. CSKA Moscow’s general director Roman Babaev even admitted the Gunners were keeping tabs on him.
According to Varga, Wenger will see how Golovin does for Russia in the World Cup this summer and make a move then.
“Golovin will prove himself – just as (Andrey) Arshavin at Euro 2008. Then Wenger could call him,” the agent explained to Sport-Express.
Varga isn’t exactly making outlandish claims here. Arsenal have been publicly linked with Golovin and Zinchenko already. But it’s interesting to read about what Wenger gets up to that we don’t see.
Who knows if the Gunners will return for them in the future.