It has come to light that Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Federico Valverde before he became a sensation at Real Madrid.
As relayed by Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal had the chance to sign Valverde in 2016. At the time, he was preparing to leave Penarol in his native Uruguay. However, Real Madrid eventually beat them to his signature.
Valverde has gone on to build a successful career with Real Madrid, but his story could have been different. Seven years ago, he was on trial with Arsenal for a week.
By the end of it, Arsene Wenger rejected the chance to sign Valverde. Given he has since starred across more than 200 games for Arsenal, it is something they might look back at with a sense of regret.
Valverde has revealed that he is thankful to Alexis Sanchez for welcoming him at Arsenal, but that seems to be as far as anything went.
The 25-year-old, who can play in central midfield or on the right wing, said of Sanchez: “I have always been grateful to him. When I went to train at Arsenal, Alexis was there and he was one of the few who came to help me. Being a child, a nobody, I was very well received by him.”
Arsenal lose grip of Valverde
Valverde is now under contract in Madrid until 2027, so seems to be out of reach. Who knows what type of player he might have become if he had joined Arsenal instead?
That said, Arsenal have been getting on fairly well with their own players in recent years. They finished second in the Premier League last season and won the Community Shield at the start of the new campaign.
Nevertheless, if Valverde had developed at the same rate as he has in Madrid, he could have been another world-class member of the squad now available to Mikel Arteta.
TEAMtalk revealed back in June that Valverde had been the subject of serious enquiries by Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City for the summer window. Had any of them got their hands on Valverde instead, it could have added insult to injury for Arsenal.