Arsenal fans have had to witness some rather horrific defending at the Emirates Stadium for a number of years.
Whether it be under the management of Arsene Wenger or Unai Emery, the diabolical and abysmal play at the back has continued to happen for the Gunners and they do not appear any closer to finally getting it all sorted out.
Shkodran Mustafi looks well past his best before date, Laurent Koscielny is not the great centre-back he once was (largely in part to the injuries that he has had) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos had a solid debut campaign for Arsenal in what is a ridiculously fragile defence although it must be said that the Greece international still has room for improvement (12 yellow cards in 25 Premier League games is concerning – even if he is a centre-back). Whether Rob Holding will be able to make a difference when he is back from injury remains to be seen.
However, and this will surely only infuriate fans further in regards to the transfers that never happened when Wenger was in charge, the north London outfit had the perfect opportunity to address all these problems five years ago, as the player in question has since proved to be a hit in his first campaign in the Premier League.
The One That Got Away – Fabian Schar and Arsenal
Yeah, if Arsenal had acted, Newcastle United’s Fabian Schar could have been playing his football at the Emirates Stadium once upon a time instead of St. James’ Park.
According to a report by the Metro back in November 2013, the then-Basel defender was thought to be on the Gunners’ radar and had been heavily linked with a move to the club.
The Switzerland international, who had also been an intern at a bank just a few years before (nice career options to have!), had put in an extremely impressive performance against Chelsea in the Champions League and had shown he had the ability to cope with some of the best players football had to offer. What was even more remarkable was the fact that he was just 21-years-old at the time!
It was not just for his club that he had impressed, as he showed that he had an eye for goal with the national team as well; he netted three goals in his first three matches!
Schar would eventually move on from Basel in the summer of 2015 when he joined Hoffenheim before heading to Spain and joining Deportivo La Coruna just two years later.
In the summer of 2018, he finally got his chance to play in the Premier League when he signed for Newcastle and has been a huge hit for the Magpies this season, making his £3million switch a bargain buy (BBC)!
He has been crucial at the back for Rafa Benitez’s side, despite not having always been an automatic choice for the Spaniard, whilst he has come up with some incredible goals – those against Cardiff City and Burnley instantly come to mind!
Schar has proved his worth to the Toon Army with his performances as he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and has the willingness to pass it out from the back; a trait Arsenal could certainly benefit with in their current defensive setup.
It’s no surprise that Emery and the Gunners are thought to have taken note of the 27-year-old this season and could look to try and finally bring him to the Emirates Stadium five years later than maybe they should have done (Mirror).
Whether Newcastle will listen to offers for their star man remains to be seen, however, for the time being, we can firmly say Schar was ‘one that got away’ for Arsenal.
Arsenal fans, do you think the club missed out on Schar when they had the chance to sign him? Should they look to acquire him this summer? Let us know below!
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