Arsenal were edging towards a transfer for Bayer Leverkusen forward Kevin Volland until Mikel Arteta intervened, according to reports.
ESPN report that Mikel Arteta was the main reason Arsenal didn’t push to sign Kevin Volland in the winter window.
The Gunners regularly scouted the striker throughout 2019, and even reached out to intermediaries to speak to the player and his club about a possible transfer. After Unai Emery’s sacking, they continued to press for a move with Freddie Ljungberg in charge.
That all changed when Arteta took over. The Spaniard told Raul Sanllehi and Edu he had doubts about the player. He wanted them to focus on other areas of the team in January, which they did, bringing in Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.
Volland was having a solid campaign in Germany, scoring 11 goals and assisting seven in 31 appearances. Those aren’t exactly the stats of a world-beater, though, and the striker has never scored more than 15 goals in all competitions in a season.
Unfortunately for Volland, he picked up a significant ankle injury in mid-February. A ligament tear required surgery and ruled him out for the season, though the footballing delays since then might help him return before the campaign ends.
For the time being, it looks like Arteta made the right call. Still, you never know at what age players will kick on and peak.