Arsenal

One that got away: Arsenal and Fabinho

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.

Fabinho is a brilliant player, isn’t he? The Brazil international has started eight of nine Premier League games for Liverpool this season with the club sitting pretty at the top of the table. He’s also won the Champions League in his first season at Anfield, averaging the joint-most tackles throughout the competition (via WhoScored).

Well, cover your eyes Arsenal fans because it turns out that the north London giants targeted the player last summer. That is according to manager Unai Emery, who has come out and claimed the Gunners wanted to sign the player before he moved to Merseyside in 2018 (via Sky Sports).

It seems Arsenal have missed out on quite the defensive midfielder, especially with their record for conceding goals this season, 12 goals in 12 games in all competitions (via Tables League).

The Brazilian averages the most tackles per game in Jurgen Klopp’s squad, showing his effectiveness in shielding the back four this campaign.

However, he also possesses the technical quality to keep Liverpool ticking in the middle of the pitch, averaging the third-highest pass accuracy of players to have featured in all nine league games this season.

In stark contrast, Arsenal are stuck with Granit Xhaka, who has committed an eye-opening 2.5 fouls per game in the top-flight this season. His reluctance to stay on his feet have proven costly for the Gunners as the Switzerland international gave away a penalty against Tottenham Hotspur this season.

The £45m-rated, as per Transfermarkt, Fabinho’s performances in 2019 has seen Gary Neville label him as the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League (via Sky Sports).

Oh, what could’ve been for Emery’s side if they had signed Fabinho in 2018. They could’ve replaced Xhaka, who seems to have a problem keeping upright this season and proves wholly unreliable.

Arsenal fans, what do you make of the claims from Emery over Fabinho? Let us know your thoughts!

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One that got away: Arsenal and Fabinho
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