Winterburn: Why missing out on Coutinho is no blow to Arsenal

Date published: Friday 16th August 2019 12:15

Nigel Winterburn doesn’t think Arsenal suffered a “blow” when their reported attempts to sign Philippe Coutinho ended as it was never “realistic”.

L’Equipe journalist Bilel Ghazi claimed the Gunners were ready to take Coutinho on loan, but unsurprisingly the temporary deal never materialised and the Brazilian remains at Barca.

“I don’t consider Arsenal missing out on Coutinho as a blow because I don’t think that it was ever realistic,” Winterburn told Sportingbet.

“Some of the figures that were bandied about, I’ve read that the deal could be worth up to £40 million, would have been an incredible investment from Arsenal for a loan deal and something that just cannot happen.

“He’s a terrific player, I think he would enhance most squads, but I don’t see it as a missed opportunity, because I was never convinced it was an option.”

Wilfried Zaha was another player linked with a move to Arsenal but Crystal Palace’s demands proved too much and the Gunners brought in Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

“Zaha would have been a safer signing than Pepe, as he is proven in the Premier League but I can only tell you who would have been the better signing come the end of the season,” said Winterburn.

“Pepe is not as well known on these shores as Zaha, so it’s hard to know if he can produce similar results to what we have come to expect from Zaha at Crystal Palace.

“However, from the bits that we have seen of him, we know that Arsenal have a very exciting player on their hands. As a supporter, I would have liked Arsenal to have signed both players!”

 

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