List Of Nine Big Players Arsenal Almost Signed

Arsenal have always got their hands on future superstars or ready-made talents to help them on their quest for silverware.

However, they have missed out on a fair amount of gems in recent years – especially under former manager Arsene Wenger.  

Here’s a list of the best players Arsenal reportedly came close to signing, which includes two of the greatest in football history.

Kylian Mbappe  

One of many Wenger near-misses on this list, the legendary Arsenal boss claims to have nearly signed PSG superstar Mbappe before he sealed a £130million move to the Parc des Princes in 2017.

Yaya Toure

Wenger was not impressed, branding Ivory Coast midfielder’s performance during a trial at Arsenal back in 2003 “completely average” on the day. Toure eventually went on to win two Spanish titles and the Champions League with Barcelona, before playing an integral part in three Premier League title triumphs with City.  

Cristiano Ronaldo

Wenger’s failure to sign Ronaldo during his Sporting Lisbon days must surely keep him up at night to this day.

Thomas Lemar

Arteta is said to have come closest in January of last year, eyeing up a potential swap deal that would have seen Alexandre Lacazette head in the opposite direction to Atletico Madrid, but in the end the transfer failed to materialise.  

Gianluigi Buffon

Things could have worked out so differently for the Italian shot-stopper had he not snubbed a move to Arsenal in 2001.  

David Beckham  

Wenger has revealed he would have signed the England great before his loan move to AC Milan in 2009 had the Gunners been able to afford his wages.  

Thiago Alcantara  

Reports suggest the north London club launched an enquiry to Bayern Munich about signing him last summer, only for Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions to eventually win the race for his signature.  

N’Golo Kante  

Arsenal opted to sign Granit Xhaka due to the Frenchman’s expensive agent fees, and it was a decision they lived to regret when he inspired Chelsea to the title that season.

Lionel Messi

The GOAT contender was understood to have been close to joining them alongside Barcelona team-mate Cesc Fabregas, with former agent Fabian Soldini admitting he was “tempted” to move to Highbury.  

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago