New Schalke signing Hamza Mendyl has confirmed that Arsenal made a late move to land his services, in comments published by Kicker.
Arsenal enjoyed a fruitful summer transfer window under the guidance of Unai Emery, who placed a focus upon improving his defensive ranks with the additions of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Lucas Torreira.
The quartet, along with young talent Matteo Guendouzi, have given the Gunners squad a fresh look for the new campaign but the start to the season has proven to be a slog with two consecutive defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea.
Emery faces a lengthy period of rejuvenation in North London after two decades under Arsene Wenger and did not manage to land all of his targets in the close-season, as new Schalke signing Hamza Mendyl as confirmed to Kicker that the Gunners failed in a move to land his services from Monaco.
“True, I’ve been in talks with Arsenal FC and Newcastle United, but being a Moroccan citizen it’s not so easy to get a work permit there, I would have thought I’d play in England.”
Only two weeks into the new season, Unai Emery already has a defensive nightmare down the left-side with Sead Kolasinac sidelined for around two months and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who slotted into the role for the opening game against Manchester City, suffering a leg fracture in that defeat.
That has left just veteran full-back Nacho Monreal as the only identified left-back available in the squad and the Spain international himself has only recently returned from a knee issue that forced him to sit on the sidelines for the opening weekend.
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On top of this, Monreal is now 32 and Transfermarkt shows he has entered the final 12 months of his contract, with Arsenal yet to identify a suitable long-term replacement with the indications of Kolasinac’s performances suggesting he is too attacking.
Mendyl, aged just 20, is already showing promise after being named in Morocco’s World Cup squad and could have become the ideal successor for Monreal down the left side, but Schalke have since completed a transfer for the player.