Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams says Arsenal saw a deal for Jude Bellingham slip through their hands.
Adams claims that the Gunners had a deal “done” for the 17-year-old, who was on Tuesday called up to the England squad.
There is no reference from Adams as to when Arsenal negotiated the prospective deal, but it’s believed to have been in 2019.
Adams says the “transition” to new technical director Edu, who arrived in July 2019, was the reason that Arsenal missed out on the Borussia Dortmund star.
“I think it got lost this one in the transition of the chief scout,” former Arsenal captain Adams told Sky Sports.
“He was spotted very early on, not by me but by the Arsenal recruitment office. The chief scout was absolutely bowled over by him and the great prospect that he is.
“New sports director Edu came in from Brazil and had no European experience and no UK experience and I think it got lost in the transition.
“Unfortunately the chief scout had the deal kind of done but we missed that one. He’s a great talent but unfortunately he’s not joined the right club.”
Bellingham was also interesting Manchester United and the youngster visited Carrington and met Sir Alex Ferguson. However, Dortmund made a concerted push to sign Bellingham and he eventually agreed a deal with the Bundesliga side.
The midfielder signed a long-term deal, which could net Birmingham as much as £30m if certain add-ons are met.
Ozil snub baffles Adams
Meanwhile, Adams says he is baffled by Mikel Arteta’s to leave Mesut Ozil out in the cold.
German star Ozil, who is the club’s top earner, has been omitted from the club’s Premier League and Europa League squads.
“Ozil for me is one of the best creative players in the world. What he struggles with at times is the defensive side.
“To win the league we need great players, like Dennis Bergkamp. Now and again I would ask Dennis to get back in behind the ball and just do a little bit for us. That’s all Ozil needs to do.
“But when you’re putting him on the sides and asking him to go with runners, he’s not got that in him. But with Partey he’s got someone who can [do that].
“I always said Ozil’s the cherry on the cake without [Arsenal having] the cake but we’re getting some players in the team [now] with stability there.
“There’s signs you could get the cherry on and let him pull the strings for [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang down the middle. I would love to see Ozil in behind feeding Aubameyang all day long.”