Arsene Wenger has admitted he fell short in efforts to bring Gareth Barry to Arsenal during the midfielder’s time at Aston Villa.
Barry was one of the game’s hottest properties at the time, with the midfielder coming close to joining Liverpool as a potential replacement for Xabi Alonso.
However, the midfielder eventually moved to Manchester City in 2009, with Wenger admitting he also tried – and failed- to lure him south.
Wenger said: “We were interested in him when he moved from Villa to City but at the time City was the big investor.”
Arsenal will come face to face with Barry when he arrives with his new West Brom team to the Emirates for Monday Night Football and when quizzed about the game, the Arsenal boss added: “West Brom have the culture of the Premier League, a manager who knows how the league works.
“They are very strong on set pieces, solid defensively – it’s tough to score against them.”
The Gunners could come face to face with Kieran Gibbs on Monday night, with the former Arsenal full-back hoping to face his old teammates for the first time.
And Wenger says Tony Pulis has a top player on his hands.
“It will be strange to see him in a different shirt,” he said.
“I’m sure he will be a great influence to West Brom.”