Winger claims Arsenal wanted to sign him, not Gervinho

Date published: Friday 22nd September 2017 12:30

Arsenal almost signed Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez in 2011 before ending up with Gervinho.

The Gunners were looking to sign an attacking midfielder in the summer of 2011, having sold Samir Nasri to Manchester City.

Gervinho arrived from Lille for £10.5million, and the winger scored just four goals in his first season.

He departed north London after just two years, but according to Carcela Gonzalez, things could have been different.

The 28-year-old claims to have been courted by Arsene Wenger that earlier that year, but a severe facial injury put paid to the move.

Carcela-Gonzalez joined Anzhi Makhachkala after the “most difficult period of his life”, which saw him undergo surgery on a number of facial fractures and broken teeth.

“In 2011, that was the time when I was hesitating between Belgium and Morocco,” he told Sport/Foot. “I’d received quite a few offers from Arsenal, Marseille and Benfica. Vicente del Bosque, Spain’s manager at the time, asked me to have a test with Spain’s U21s.

“Real Madrid put a lot of pressure on me to choose either Spain or Belgium because they don’t like players leaving mid-season for the Africa Cup of Nations. Negotiations were underway, then the accident happened.”

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