Date published: Tuesday 27th October 2020 7:19
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta lost out in a power battle with technical director Edu over the club’s transfer targets earlier this year, according to a report.
The Gunners recruited Willian on a free transfer, while also adding Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes.
All three have had a solid impact, with Gabriel overseeing his side’s build-up play from the back. Partey, meanwhile, has added a defensive mettle to his team’s midfield.
However, according to L’Equipe (via Sport Witness), Arteta wanted Lyon’s Houssem Aouar over Partey.
Arsenal were in negotiations for some time about Frenchman Aouar, who seemed to be the club’s top target. Indeed, the north London club submitted a bid but talk of the transfer then faded.
Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas revealed the offer, but described it as “timid”. As such, Arsenal refused to continue their pursuit and instead chose to activate Partey’s £45million release clause.
Speculation has suggested that Aouar’s price tag sits at nearer £54million. However the latest report does not make clear if it was this fee that led Edu to move on from the 22-year-old.
In any case, L’Equipe adds that Lyon felt relieved that they were able to keep their rising midfield star. Aouar scored nine goals and assisted 10 others last term and has continued to impress.
Indeed, he has netted twice and laid on one more goal in six Ligue 1 matches this term.
READ MORE: Aouar given Arteta promise as Arsenal deal springs back into life
Arteta full of praise for Partey
Despite Arteta missing out on seemingly his top target, he has not shown disappointment since. In fact, Partey won Man of the Match in last Thursday’s Europa League win over Rapid Vienna.
As such, the Gunners boss has been full of praise for his immediate impact.
However, Arsenal legend Ian Wright pointed out prior to Sunday’s clash with Leicester that his former side still lack a strong dose of creativity under Arteta.