According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Arsene Wenger attempted to land Napoli sensation Dries Mertens this summer.
The 30-year-old Dries Mertens had been in sensational form last season and he ended the campaign with over 30 goals after being converted from a winger to a striker.
Taking up the huge role played by Gonzalo Higuan, Mertens not only turned out to be an appropriate replacement, he excelled in his new role as the striker up front by notching up 34 goals in a seasons.
So far this season also Dries Mertens has continued his fine goalscoring form at the start of this season, finding the net seven times in just six games for Napoli.
And now according to reports in Italy via TalkSPORT it is being claimed that the Gunners registered their interest in the 30 year old back in May before the close of the season and well before the club signed Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for a club record £52.5m in July.
Despite being approached by Arsenal over the possibility of a switch to London, the Belgium opted to stay at the Stadio San Paolo by signing a bumper new deal which ended Arsenal’s interest in the player.
However that is not the end of the story, to ensure their star man extended his stay, Napoli agreed to include a buy-out clause in his new contract which will not put off many suitors.
The buy out clause in his new contract is of only £26.5 million according to the reports, a very low sum indeed for a player who has scored 34 goals last season and is showing no signs of stopping this season either.
Given that he is already 30 years old, raises quite a number of doubts in our minds about Arsene Wenger’s interest in the player in the first place. The French man is not one to invest heavily in players in the wrong side of 30.
The Gunners will indeed wish to add to their squad next season in order to make up for the almost certain departure of Alexis Sanchez who as we all know nearly went off running to his old boss Pep on deadline day and seemed quite sad at the deal breaking down at the last moment.
His departure is eminent and the question that arises is about who Arsene Wenger chooses to make his replacement.
The Belgian international has enjoyed a stellar tenure with the Serie A outfit and has flourished under Maurizio Sarri. He has established himself as one of the best players in Italy exhibiting very remarkable stats, and is a key asset for Napoli.
Given his goalscoring record Dries Mertens might prove to be a like to like replacement for Alexis Sanchez and might even be up to the task of matching up to the all round play exhibited by Sanchez.
However not for long, if Arsene Wenger opts for a short term replacement keeping his own contract in mind then the Belgium might prove to be quite a high calliber signing needed to challenge for the title next season.
Judging Wenger by his past record he is much to likely to go for someone with a lot more time to provide to the club like a certain Thomas Lemar than the 30 year old Belgium.
Check out Dries Mertens transfermarkt profile and Season stats by whoscored here.
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