Despite the transfer window now being closed there will still be plenty of gossip doing the rounds in the newspapers, so we’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest transfer rumours. Today, Arsene Wenger is believed to have rejected the chance to sign Lewis Holtby.
Holtby moved to Spurs in a cut-price deal in January after originally agreeing to move to north London from Schalke on a free transfer at the end of the season. The German attacking midfielder is due to line-up against Arsenal in Sunday’s north London Derby at White Hart Lane but he could very easily have been wearing the visitors shirt if Goal.com are to be believed.
The report claims Holtby spent time at Arsenal’s London Colney training headquarters 14 months ago and took part in a few light training sessions, as Wenger and his men ran the rule over him ahead of a potential move from Schalke.
However, Wenger is believed to have spurned the chance to sign the 22-year-old with an apparent ‘source’ telling Goal.com that the Gunners boss wasn’t fully convinced by the player and didn’t think he would improve the Arsenal team.
In the end, the ‘source’ claims Wenger decided to stick with Tomas Rosicky during the second half of last season before signing Santi Cazorla in the summer:
“He [Holtby] was carrying an injury at the time, which was a factor, but that was not the main reason Arsenal pulled out,”
“Wenger just didn’t quite rate him high enough. He was looking for a playmaker at the time and Holtby was one of the players on his radar.
“If Wenger had really pushed, he could have had him in January 2012 for a reasonably good price. Holtby was keen to join but Wenger was not convinced he would improve the team.”
“In the end, it came down to Holtby or Cazorla. We all know what happened there. Wenger decided to stick with Tomas Rosicky for the second half of last season rather than sign Holtby and then get Cazorla when Malaga were willing to sell.” a source told Goal.com.
While I’m always dubious of unnamed ‘sources’, I feel there may be something in this story. But even so, if it was a straight choice between Holtby or Cazorla, I think the majority of Arsenal fans will be extremely happy with Wenger’s choice.
Rosicky was outstanding during the second half of the 2011/12 season and I very much doubt Holtby could have made a similar impact if he did make the move to the Emirates that January, and Cazorla has been a revelation this season since his move from Malaga.
So while Tottenham fans will no doubt be pleased with their business in January with the bargain signing of Holtby, I don’t think many Gooners will be worrying too much about missing out on him considering they have Cazorla’s brilliance to enjoy.
What do Arsenal fans think? Did Wenger make the right choice? Get involved in the comments section below.