Arsene Wenger revealed today that he’s attempted to sign Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante not once, but twice, while heaping praise on the player by saying he’s been the reason for their success this season:
“Have I looked to sign Kante? Yes. When he was in France and when he was at Leicester,” Wenger said. “I cannot explain everything [about why he preferred Chelsea] but it is quite obvious when you look at where he has gone. Was it the money? I do not want to talk about that. Transfers are transfers – you cannot explain absolutely everything.”
“I feel Chelsea have found a better defensive balance since we beat them 3-0 at home in September,” Wenger said. “They are very good in transition. I watched their game against Liverpool and Kante had a huge impact in their team.
“It’s no coincidence that they are in the position that they are and Leicester were in the position they were last season.”
While Kante is certainly a very good player, imagine for a moment a midfield of Kante and Francis Coquelin. And then imagine a frustrated Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez with their hands in the air, wondering why they aren’t getting consistent, accurate service their way.
If assuming Wenger went after Kante to play alongside Coquelin and not replace him, it would have been an utter disaster. However the possibility is there that he thought Kante could have thrived in a midfield with Aaron Ramsey, with Ozil in front of the pivot. Now that, that is something I could have been down with.
In the end, Arsene bought Granit Xhaka and, save for getting Jon Moss’ed twice this season, he’s (slowly) developed into the type of midfielder that Arsenal thrives under. There’s little to be upset at over this revelation, unless you’re the type that despises all the players Wenger admits to almost signing. In that case, your diaper is probably full and you need to change into a clean one.