Napoli rejected Arsenal’s advances for Italian striker Andrea Petagna over the summer, according to reports.
Petagna was suggested as a possible target for Arsenal back in August as they considered strengthening their frontline. At the time, there were still doubts about the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Aubameyang eventually signed a new contract at the club, while Lacazette also remains with the Gunners.
However, Petagna was an option to bolster their options up front. Arsenal reportedly were considering a move for a more experienced backup striker in comparison to Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli.
Petagna’s physicality (he is nicknamed the “Bulldozer”) and goalscoring record would have made him an intriguing target. Having monitored him since his time at Atalanta, Arsenal made an approach to Napoli this summer.
Napoli signed Petagna from SPAL in January, but loaned him back to his former club for the remainder of the season – where he finished the campaign with 12 goals from 37 games. He could have left Napoli without ever playing for them.
That was not to be the case, though. According to Calciomercato, Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso blocked the sale because he believes in the 25-year-old.
In fact, Napoli signed Petagna at Gattuso’s request in the first place, so he has a plan for him. However, he has only been a substitute for Napoli so far this season.
Petagna did come off the bench to score the winner against Benevento recently, so perhaps Gattuso will give him more opportunities soon.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was also against the idea of selling Petagna in the summer, so Arsenal’s chances of signing him quickly faded. The same went for the likes of Torino, Genoa and Udinese, all of whom could have given him a different challenge in Serie A.
Arsenal offered attacking advice
Meanwhile, the strikers that are currently at Arsenal have been in mixed form so far this season. Lacazette leads the way with three goals, while Aubameyang only has one so far.
Someone who knows a thing or two about scoring in an Arsenal shirt, Ian Wright, recently told the team how they must develop to score more goals.
“Every goal has to be in here, round to there, over to there, into Aubameyang, cross, beautiful,” he said. “I’d like to see us scoring some rough goals, some chaotic play and then ‘bam’ a goal is scored.”