Arsenal didn’t bring in a new striker in the January transfer window, much to the disappointment of the fans.
With Folarin Balogun going on loan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving permanently, and Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette ending their contracts this summer, the supporters were expecting someone to be on the way in.
The Gunners did make one serious move on the centre-forward incomings front, bidding for Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic. But the striker ended up joining Juventus instead.
So what went wrong?
The Daily Mail report that Arsenal’s failure to land Vlahovic wasn’t for lack of trying. The club reportedly threw the kitchen sink at trying to sign the striker, they just never came close to getting it done.
The Mail claim many at London Colney believe Vlahovic and his representatives were using Arsenal’s interest as leverage to try and complete the Juventus move he’d already decided on.
Fiorentina president Rocco Commisso is similarly cynical about the way the player and his representatives approached the January window.
“The Vlahovic deal was full of dishonesty and liars,” Commisso said. “We opened talks with English clubs – every time a new offer came up, Vlahović and his agents said no.
“Their plan was the same as Mbappé with PSG: leave as a free agent and make money.”
In the end, the Vlahovic camp didn’t have to wait, as Juventus stumped up the cash for an immediate transfer.
Reports suggest this involved €11.6m in agent fees and FIFA solidarity payments, before you even get to the €70m transfer fee and €10m add-ons. His representatives got what they wanted.
Unfortunately, it seems as if Arsenal never really had a chance to sign Vlahovic in the first place. His camp had their mind made up from the beginning.