Arsenal

One that got away: Arsenal and Paulo Dybala

This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.

It’s a recurring theme at the Emirates Stadium, one player hits the headlines as being one that ‘got away’ from the Gunners. In fact, Sky Sports did a whole feature on the ‘nearly signed’ narrative back in 2017. Now, in this feature we take a look at Paulo Dybala after his recent match-winning performance for Juventus in the Champions League against Lokomotiv Moscow, a competition the Gunners are struggling to return to as things stand.

Back in the summer of 2015, it became apparent that the north London giants were in a tussle with the Turin-based club for the then-Palermo striker, Dybala (Tuttosport via Sport Witness). It was then confirmed by the Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini that Arsenal and Juventus were just two of a whole host of clubs to have made a bid for him (via Joe).

He said: “Two were from Italian clubs, and two were from abroad, and they include Arsenal and Juventus.” (Source: Joe)

Well, the Gunners must be regretting not signing the Argentine attacker after his performance in the victory on Tuesday evening.

Let’s start with the important stuff, like scoring two goals late in the second half to rescue your club from an embarrassing loss at home in the Champions League.

And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, we can talk about how Dybala completed the most dribbles and played the second-most final-third passes of any midfielder/attacker in Maurizio Sarri’s side in a monstrous attacking display (via WhoScored). Amid Arsenal’s attempts to return to the continent’s premier competition, a man they almost signed proved a real leader within it. Indeed, given the recent issues with Granit Xhaka’s role as club captain, it’s perhaps fair to say the Gunners could use a leader on the pitch of this ilk; someone to drag them to victory at the highest level.

The Argentina international also provided his fair share of defensive cover in the clash against Lokomotiv Moscow, attempting the second-most tackles of any Juventus player.

Dybala was in sumptuous form for the Serie A side and makes Sarri’s attempts to sell him to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur (Sky in Italy via Sky Sports) in the summer look strange.

Failing to sign Dybala looks to be a horror moment for the north London side, who showed versus Bournemouth amongst others recently, they are unable to create many chances, and could well use Dybala’s creative nous.

Arsenal fans, do you feel regretful that the Gunners didn’t sign Dybala? Let us know your thoughts!

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One that got away: Arsenal and Paulo Dybala
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