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 had looked for all the world that Ryan Fraser would be a Gunner by now.
The Scottish winger had already rejected a new contract at Bournemouth long before Arsenal’s interest in the 25-year-old this summer – while the Gunners were lacking a creative source in midfield last season, with Alexandre Lacazette the club’s top provider with 13 in all competitions.
Fraser was the Premier League’s second-best assistor in 2018/19, with only Eden Hazard topping the Cherries man’s total of 14.
Having ended up selling Alex Iwobi in August, the need for a wide man is arguably still prevalent for the Gunners despite the signing of Gabriel Martinelli (who has shone as a centre-forward since arriving a month earlier).
Last season, Fraser had suggested that the rumours could have been affecting his form – although the Reds’ interest may indicate his worth has not suffered too much having not exactly hit the heights of the previous campaign as yet this term.
While rumours remained simply rumours over the summer, it seems both Fraser and Arsenal have regressed since the possibility of the two joining forces was first mooted.
So for both parties, the element of regret may not be as strong as it may have been, with the pair arguably less attractive prospects to each other in the present day than in the summer.
Arsenal’s current struggles may make a future bid for Fraser seem worth the gamble, though it appears the perfect time for the player himself to kick on after a dazzling season for Bournemouth may have passed both Fraser and the Gunners by.
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