Arsenal star Pablo Mari spoke to the media yesterday ahead of the big game against Villarreal in the semi-final of the Europa League.
All the spotlight is on Unai Emery facing the club that sacked him. The Spaniard is the most successful manager in the history of the competition as well, which makes it more about the two men on the touchline than the 22 on the pitch.
Arsenal players should not be distracted by Emery. Villarreal are a really good team with some fantastic players. One such star is Spanish striker Gerard Moreno, who has been in brilliant form this season.
The 29-year-old is Emery’s main asset up front. He has scored 26 goals and has provided eight assists in all competitions – a truly spectacular return. He will be the danger-man tonight, and Mari is fully aware of his prowess.
The defender said, as per Arsenal.com: “I think we are up against one of the best strike partnerships in Spain perhaps. Gerard Moreno is doing fantastically, I think he’s the best striker in Spain at the moment.”
Arsenal could’ve signed Moreno in 2015
Six years ago, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were on the lookout for a new striker. It was the infamous window in which we managed to sign zero outfield players, something that still annoys a few Arsenal supporters.
The truth is, Arsenal were seriously looking for a new number nine. Moreno was among the players considered and if a report from The Mirror is to be believed, he would’ve been available for just £3 million.
That has to be viewed as a missed opportunity for Arsenal. Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Moreno has scored a staggering 98 goals in all competitions. He could easily have done that in our colours, but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be.
If the Spaniard finds a way to score against us tonight, we can add him to the famous list of players that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among others who have inflicted pain on Arsenal after we failed to sign them.