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Arsene Wenger confirms attempts to sign midfielder & striker
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he’s previously tried to sign Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and highly-rated Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe.
The boss hit the headlines earlier this week after telling reporters that he was a big fan of Mbappe and even likened the 18-year-old to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
The youngster has been in impressive form for Monaco having scored six goals in his 17 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit this season and Wenger admitted that he is keeping a close eye on the strikers progress.
However, it seems the boss has already tried to lure Mbappe to the Emirates as he told reporters at his press conference this morning that he made a move for the player last season but the teenager decided to stay at Monaco.
Wenger is quoted as saying by Arsenal.com:
on Kylian Mbappe…
Yes, he has similarities to Thierry Henry. First of all, he’s from the Caribbean as well and he has a huge talent. He plays for Monaco and Thierry Henry played for Monaco. When I was in Monaco I could see with Thierry Henry similarities. But of course after that, what makes the career is the mental aspect that Thierry had. This young boy has to show that he has similar qualities on the mental front that Thierry had.
on if he wants to sign Mbappe…
Look, it was at stake last season. But he decided to stay where he was.
The unusually loose-lipped Wenger went on to reveal that he’s also failed in two previous attempts to sign Chelsea midfielder No’Golo Kante.
The French international was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal last season after playing a key role in helping Leicester City win the title before he eventually sealed a £32m switch to Stamford Bridge.
We went on to sign Granit Xhaka from Borussia Mönchengladbach but our midfield could have looked a lot different against Chelsea this weekend had Wenger been successful in his pursuit of Kante, which dates back to his time in France with Caen.
Arsene refused to disclose the exact reason we missed out on Kante’s signature but he dropped a huge hint that it was down to money.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
on whether he looked to sign Kante…
Yes. When he in France, and when he at Leicester.
on what happened…
There again, I cannot explain everything but it is quite obvious when you look where he has gone.
Kante has proven this year with Chelsea that he wasn’t a one-season wonder [unlikely former team mate Jamie Vardy] and he was the one Leicester player I really wanted us to sign last summer.
Sadly we’ll be lining-up against him this weekend and with a selection crisis in the middle of the park to deal with, Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are going to have to be on their best game to get the better of Kante tomorrow.