International star explains why his proposed move to Arsenal fell through

By on August 22, 2018

According to ESPN, Moroccan left-back Hamza Mendyl has confirmed that his proposed move to Arsenal this summer was scuppered due to work permit issues.

Unai Emery was in the market for another left-back during the final days of the summer window after Sead Kolasinac was ruled out for 8-10 weeks with a serious knee injury that he picked-up in pre-season.

We were linked with a last minute swoop for AC Milan star Ricardo Rodriguez but it seems Arsenal chiefs also attempted to sign Mendyl before he completed a £6.2m move to Schalke last week.

The Bundesliga club’s sporting director claimed over the weekend that Mendyl would have joined Arsenal had he been granted a work permit and the 20-year-old has now confirmed these claims himself.

The defender caught the attention of Arsenal scouts after impressing for Lille last season while he was also named in the Moroccan squad for this summers World Cup finals in Russia.

And it seems Arsenal chiefs made a late move to sign Mendyl before deadline day only for the proposed switch to be derailed due to work permit issues.

When quizzed about reports suggesting he almost joined Arsenal, Mendyl is quoted as saying by ESPN:

“It’s true: I was in talks with Arsenal and Newcastle. But as a Moroccan citizen it’s not that easy to obtain a work permit. I would have trusted myself to play Premier League,”

In the end, we failed to sign another left-back and our options have been further stretched after Ainsley Maitland-Niles was ruled out for two months with a fractured leg which he suffered against Man City on the opening weekend of the new season.

Luckily, Nacho Monreal is back from his knee problem but we’re short of options if he picks up an injury. Stephan Lichtsteiner replaced Maitland-Niles against City so I assume Emery would call upon the 34-year-old veteran if Monreal is sidelined over the coming weeks.