7 transfer targets Arsenal missed out on in the summer & how they’ve fared this season
Arsenal made ambitious moves in the summer as they looked to improve Mikel Arteta’s squad after they qualified for the Champions League in impressive fashion last season.
Declan Rice has made an excellent start to life at The Emirates after becoming the club’s new record signing. Kai Havertz has taken a little more time to fully convince, while Jurrien Timber was unfortunate to suffer a serious injury on his Premier League debut.
But what became of the players they missed out on in the summer? We’ve checked in on seven players that they reportedly targeted signing – and assessed how they’ve fared elsewhere.
The Spanish wonderkid was reportedly on the radar of top clubs across Europe after his exceptional breakthrough campaign with boyhood club Celta Vigo.
Football.London were among the outlets that reported that Arsenal were among the 21-year-old’s suitors. In the final weeks of the window he did indeed leave Celta Vigo but rather than join an elite European club he signed with Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Ahli – a move Toni Kroos called “embarrassing”.
Veiga was talked up as a future Spain regular but is yet to make his senior La Roja debut and may be waiting a while yet after notching one goal and two assists in 11 appearances for Al-Ahli.
Celta boss Rafael Benitez believes that the youngster still has a future in European football.
“I was in China and I had Carrasco, who then returned to Europe and now plays in the Champions League,” Benitez said after the move was confirmed.
“It’s not an elephant’s graveyard.”
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) November 5, 2023
The Gunners allowed Rob Holding to depart in the summer, which arguably leaves them a little light when it comes to defensive options.
Former Ajax centre-back Schuurs, who featured prominently under Ten Hag, was considered an option late in August according to reports from Italy.
The 23-year-old moved to Torino last summer and made a big impression in his debut campaign in Italy. Unfortunately he’s suffered a serious setback this season, with a serious ACL injury likely to keep him sidelined until next summer.
Veiga wasn’t the only Spanish starlet that caught the eye last season.
Barcelona were reportedly keen on Valladolid’s 19-year-old right-back Fresneda as their solution to the long-running problem position before they settled on Joao Cancelo on loan from Man City. According to Football.London, Arsenal also “held a genuine interest” in January and continued to keep tabs but evidently decided against making a move for his signature.
Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon got a deal over the line on deadline day – and immediately slapped an €80million release clause on the prospect.
The teenager is yet to play much of a role since the move, however, with one start and a further three substitute appearances totalling just 120 minutes of competitive action for Sporting.
It was always clear that the exciting Ghanaian midfielder was set to leave Ajax in the summer after rejecting a new contract. Brighton were said to be close and according to the Daily Mail Arsenal also weighed up making a £40million offer.
Kudus did eventually arrive in England in late August, joining West Ham on a five-year deal for a £38million transfer fee.
David Moyes has bedded the 23-year-old in slowly, but he’s already shown glimpses of what he can offer – including a sensational goal for the Hammers as they knocked Arsenal out of the League Cup.
😍 Aguerd's astonishing assist
👏 Mo's beautiful touch and finish
Goals don't get much better than this 🔥 pic.twitter.com/McvCm11rNA
— West Ham United (@WestHam) November 2, 2023
The Brazilian signed a new long-term contract with Aston Villa last October, but that hasn’t stopped Arsenal from being continually linked with him.
He’s among the most consistent midfielders in the Premier League and has been a key player for Unai Emery’s high-flying Villa. It would be no shock to see him move on eventually.
Links to Arsenal have reemerged yet again following the news of Thomas Partey’s latest injury setback. One for next summer, maybe?
Back in July, Kicker journalist Georg Holzner revealed that Bayern Munich were potentially open to selling Kimmich for the right price, while FourFourTwo noted that Arsenal have long been admirers of the Germany international.
Things never really progressed from there, and contrary to those summer reports the technically gifted utility man has looked anything but expendable as a near ever-present under Thomas Tuchel this season.
Bayern remain unbeaten in the Bundesliga and have seen up the top spot in their Champions League group with two games to spare.
Football.London reported in July that Arsenal had an active interest in Frimpong, even after spending over £200million on Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz.
Bayer Leverkusen ended up keeping hold of their star asset, whose stock has grown even further as he continues to shine for Xabi Alonso’s table-topping Bayer Leverkusen.
The 22-year-old right-back has notched three goals and five assists so far this season for a Leverkusen side that have taken 28 points from 30 available in the Bundesliga.