Arsenal are reportedly still interested in signing Houssem Aouar when the January transfer window opens despite missing out on the playmaker during the summer.
As Arsenal crashed all too predictably against a Leicester side that came to smash and grab using a tried and tested technique of packing their defence and just waiting for Arsenal to hand them the points, it was clear that creativity is a massive problem in the side.
With Mesut Ozil frozen out for reasons that are obviously nothing to do with football, Arsenal are left looking towards youngsters to effect change.
It is therefore no surprise to read that Arsenal are supposedly still interested in signing Aouar, however they apparently face competition from Juventus.
Why Aouar’s move to Arsenal fell through
Arsenal landed Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid on deadline day, but Houssem Aouar ended up as the one that got away.
With Atletico Madrid refusing to negotiate and the Thomas Partey deal on hold as a result, Arsenal started to look into a move for Houssem Aouar. The Athletic reported that the Gunners were ‘confident’ of securing a deal.
Technical director Edu was in regular talks with Lyon’s Juninho but The Athletic suggested Arsenal’s mistake was in completely bypassing Jean-Michel Aulas.
As a result, when they submitted offers, they were well short of Aulas’ expectations. When Aulas set deadlines, the Gunners weren’t ready to meet them. By the closing stages of the window, Aouar was having second thoughts.
After all, in the final days of the last week of the window, the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid were publicly showing their appreciation of Aouar, whilst also insisting a deal wouldn’t happen until next summer.
Another year at Lyon followed by a move to a club certain to be in the Champions League was apparently more appealing than the uncertainty of Arteta’s project. Regardless of how exciting that uncertainty may be for fans. Or was before they played Leicester.
In Arsenal’s defence, I’m not sure you can blame them for hesitating to offer €50m. It would have meant a €100m outlay on two players in a current summer of financial difficulties that already required Stan Kroenke to put his hand in his pocket. That’s without any major sales agreed, bar Emi Martinez.
Given the failure to sell anyone most of the players we wanted rid of, spending that much could’ve left Arsenal in real financial trouble. Unfortunately, their hesitation seemingly left enough time for Aouar to change his mind. That was what ultimately killed the deal.
“I am happy, this is my city and this my club,” Aouar told Telefoot while on International duty with France.
“I am proud to represent this club, I have so much motivation to make a great season.
“We made a choice, I’m happy to stay here. Aulas and Juninho convinced me to stay in Lyon.”