“I remember seeing [insert world class player] and thinking how dominant he was in a holding midfield role,” Wenger said. “He would have been perfect for us, but unfortunately [insert rival club] came in for him and the deal never happened.
“The progress [insert world class player] has made since then indicates that my initial call was correct. I admire the progress he has made. He now looks to be one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe. We wish him well.”
The unfortunate scenario in missing out on [insert world class player] before he established himself as one of world football’s greatest players only adds to the sense of misfortune felt by Wenger and Arsenal supporters.
Last month Wenger revealed that the club came close to bringing Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique to the Emirates, and in September he expressed his regret at failing to land Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba.
“My biggest regret: I was so close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Wenger. “And not only did I not get him, but he signed for Manchester United. I missed Drogba when he played at Le Mans in France, not even in the top league. I knew there was a good player there and I missed him.”
Arsenal supporters have reacted with sympathy at hearing the news.
“It’s great to hear that our manager came so close to bringing such a big name to the club,” said Ivor Ash of Islington. “We might have the most expensive season tickets in Europe – I paid £1,014 for the cheapest available – but that cost pales into insignificance when you consider who we almost signed.”
“The fact that Wenger spotted the player at all proves he hasn’t lost any of his ability or appetite for the job,” said Juan King of Brent. “Other managers would sign such players without considered judgement, but our boss backs himself to find better. That’s half the battle won.”
Long-term season ticket holder Peter Gill took a more philosophical view. “In a way I’m glad that we didn’t sign [insert world class player],” he said. “I don’t think I could have stomached seeing him win the title with City last season.”
*Player in question is Juventus Paul Pogba*