A stunning performance from N’Golo Kante helped Chelsea lift the Champions League tonight. However, things could’ve been very different if Arsenal did the right thing five years ago.
After the Frenchman starred for Leicester City in the 2015/16 campaign, then Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wanted to bring him to the Emirates.
The legendary Gunners manager knew Kante since he was at Caen in Ligue 2, and a deal looked pretty straightforward. The midfielder had an affordable release clause and Arsenal were ready to pay it, but we quickly pulled out of the deal.
Chelsea snapped him up in the same transfer window, and the Frenchman has since played a huge part in helping the Blues win the Premier League, the Europa League and now the biggest of them all, the Champions League.
Why did Arsenal decide against signing N’Golo Kante?
The Athletic revealed last year that everything was in place for Arsenal to sign Kante in the summer of 2016. However, the Frenchman’s agents’ demands annoyed the Gunners, and we decided to pull out.
The report claimed that Kante’s representatives, Gregory Dakad and Abdelkarim Douis, demanded £6.4 million and £4.2 million respectively as agents’ fees. That ruined the deal completely.
Arsenal told them that a deal was off and Chelsea swooped in for his signature. The Blues felt then that spending an additional £10.6 million to secure Kante’s services was worth it, and looking back now, they couldn’t have been more right.
Kante would’ve changed Arsenal’s fortunes
Since missing out on Kante in 2016, Arsenal have failed to finish in the top four every single season. We’ve fallen so hard that we aren’t even in Europe now – something that could’ve changed if we had signed the Frenchman.
The Gunners have always lacked a top-quality defensive midfielder. Failure to sign one has arguably been one of the biggest reasons why we are nowhere near where we should be in the league at the moment.
Stan and Josh Kroenke should take a long, hard look at themselves tonight. That could’ve been Arsenal at the Estadio do Dragao lifting the Champions League after a man of the match display by Kante, but sadly, we aren’t even close to being in that position now.