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Wenger Turned Down Chance To Sign Tottenham Attacker In Favour Of Cazorla

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned down the chance to sign German attacking midfielder Lewis Holtby a year before he moved to fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

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.

Lewis Holtby

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger turned down the chance to sign Lewis Holtby a year before the attacker moved to rivals Tottenham Hotspur, according to

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 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 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

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.

Read more Arsenal transfer news | Spurs transfer news

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.



  1. richard morgan

    March 1, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Oh definitely, Cazorla is a different kind of player to Holtby. he has two good feet and has made a huge impact for us.

  2. tony

    March 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    wenger made d ryt decision…..santi is definately better than hotby

  3. topats

    March 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    good move. Carzola is class. He will even be better next season.

  4. Izuchukkwu Okosi

    March 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I agree that Cazorla was a better choice, in fact it is un-arguable! But Holtby would have been an upgrade on Aaron Ramsey and Abou Diaby. That’s where he comes in

  5. echam

    March 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    sell ramsey and star need to hold them.wenger also can out.but thanks to him since him manage arsenal.but im just a fans n i dont think any club can stand or hold when not winning any trophy for 8season.dumb…dumber…dumberer

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