For over a year, Arsenal have been heavily linked with Norwich City star Emi Buendia. Yet after all that chasing, the Gunners have missed out on their man.
As reported by the Guardian, Aston Villa have beaten the north London club to the signing of the winger. Dean Smith’s side could pay up to £40m for the Championship attacker.
The news was a gut-punch to Arsenal supporters everywhere. It was a damming sign that the club had missed out on a key transfer target to a side that finished 11th in the Premier League and have not played for Europe in over 11 years.
A grim reality for Arsenal
Yet this is the world Arsenal find themselves in.
It’s easy to say we’re still a big club that can attract the most glamourous names in football. But when the Gunners are missing out on a player from the Championship to a side who finished three places below us in the Premier League, there’s only so much talking can do.
The regression of the club since the departure of Arsene Wenger has been sharp and devastating. And the upcoming transfer window is arguably one of the biggest in the club’s modern history.
Yet losing out on Buendia could have big ramifications on Arsenal’s transfer plans.
A summer thrown into turmoil
Buendia was the main creative target for the Gunners, with Martin Odegaard likely to stay with Real Madrid this summer following the re-appointment of Carlo Ancelotti.
There will no doubt be other players Edu and Mikel Arteta have earmarked as potential signings, but whether these unknown players are of the same quality as the Norwich City star and the Norway captain remains to be seen.
Arsenal will have to look for a plan B this summer when looking for a creative midfielder.
The position is easily the most crucial the Gunners need to fill in the transfer window, and although Emile Smith Rowe has shown his quality in the position last season, Arteta needs more than just the 20-year-old academy graduate.
It will be interesting to see which direction Arsenal take after losing out on their main creative target.
But with the window yet to officially open, the Gunners have ample time to reassess their options and make a signing that will improve the quality of the squad.