The transfer window seems to have been an effective period for Arsenal, helping them bring in the likes of Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, Sokratis and Stenphen Lichtsteiner, spending around 80 million to help in their quest for the Premier League title. But the Londoners could’ve completed the signing of their 5th player, Hamza Mendyl from the French side LOSC Lille.
Mendyl was linked with Arsenal following the injury of Sead Kolasinac against Chelsea in a pre-season friendly, and Nacho Monreal struggling with knee problems.
The Moroccan defender has 13 caps for his country and was a member of Morocco’s World Cup squad for 2018 but failed to make an appearance, despite traveling to Russia. The former Lille defender made 13 League 1 appearances during his stint in France as well.
The Gunners bid €2 million for the Moroccan international and terms were agreed by the club and the player.
However, unfortunately for Unai Emery‘s side, the deal broke down because the fullback couldn’t get work permit in England. There were plenty of speculations going around the 20-year old defender, who eventually ended up moving to the German side Schalke under a five-year contract.
Nevertheless, Mendyl had previously traveled to London ahead of a proposed move to the Emirates, and the Bundesliga club’s sporting director, Christian Heidel, insists that paperwork problems are all that stopped the transfer.
“I think otherwise he would have gone to Arsenal,” Heidle admitted [via 101 Great Goals].
Schalke coach, Domenico Tedesco is thrilled having signed the left-back and remarked saying [via Schalke]:
“He provides exactly what we want from a left back – athleticism, dynamism, solidity and attacking impetus.
“We are hugely excited to elevate this great talent to the next level.”
Following the deal break, the Schalke man told German publisher Kicker:
“I’ve been in talks with Arsenal FC and Newcastle, but being a Moroccan citizen it’s not so easy to get a work permit there.
“I would have thought I’d play in England .”
After completing his move to the Royal Blues, he said:
“I’m delighted to have signed for such a big club.
“With Domenico Tedesco, I’ve got a coach who is renowned for improving players. He showed that clearly last year.
“I want to keep developing under him and help Schalke lead great campaigns in all three competitions this season.”
It has been a slow start for the North Londoners’ Premier League campaign, losing to Manchester City 2-0 at the Emirates and then going down 3-2 to Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge. Arsenal need to strengthen their defense line and Mendyl would have proved to be the missing piece for Emery‘s defensive worries.
Mendyl is a fast left-back with the ability to put crosses and cut inside the opponents defense line. The Spanish gaffer likes a possession style build-up and squaring it in for the strikers or setting it for the midfielders.
The transfer window being now shut, means that the Emirates outfit have made only 4 new signings and will have to wait for the winter transfer season to bring in exciting prospects like they did this season with Matteo Guendouzi.