Former Arsenal target admits he REJECTED Mikel Arteta for Barcelona

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

In the end, Arsenal will have no regrets in the summer transfer window. Although they failed to land a few of their targets, the recruitment team at the Emirates Stadium has become known for working within their means and locating excellent backup options. Bear in mind, the likes of Leandro Trossard, Jurrien Timber and Oleksandr Zinchenko weren’t the original targets.

You could even argue that the same fate happened with Declan Rice. Although the former West Ham skipper was on Mikel Arteta’s radar for some time, there was a midfielder on the shortlist just before him.

If you haven’t guessed who I’m talking about by now, it’s Ilkay Gundogan. The former Manchester City man who became a free agent in the summer was targeted closely by Arsenal. In the end, though, Gundogan signed for Barcelona and looks happier for it.

Former Arsenal target Ilkay Gundogan rejected Mikel Arteta

In a new report published by the Mirror, Ilkay Gundogan has been rumoured to admit he snubbed interest from Arsenal and other clubs to sign for Barcelona instead. In fairness to the midfielder, he has claimed that to play for Barcelona was his “boyhood dream”. Anyone that has a background in football could resonate with that dream.

Although rejection never feels good, in many ways, it’s worked out better for everyone. While Gundogan has completed his bucket list, Arsenal have strengthened for the future by signing Declan Rice.

And what a signing the Englishman has been. It takes a lot to come to the Emirates Stadium and impress, let alone when you have the pressure given to you by your immense price tag. But Rice sees no pressure and he’s performed excellently well to begin his first season at Arsenal.

Do you think Arsenal missed out on Ilkay Gundogan or are they better off without him?