Gunners chief had been eyeing starlet midfielder.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he was one of a number of interested parties that were lining up to sign highly rated French starlet playmaker Florian Thauvin in January, Sky Sports reports.
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The nimble footed attacking ace burst onto the scene with island side Bastia and quickly made a name for himself as one of Europe’s most wanted youngsters as several top clubs lined up to take a closer look at him.
Wenger has often returned to his homeland to snap up promising young players and was keen on bringing Thauvin to the Emirates in order to take him under his wing.
He was, however, to be pipped at the transfer post by Lille – who landed the youngster on a four-year deal.
But even they were left frustrated as Thauvin then went AWOL over the summer in an effort to force a move through to Marseille, and Wenger has now tipped the 20-year-old to reach his full potential in the south of France.
“It was a surprise transfer for me. We were following him and were interested in him before he joined Lille,” he said.
“He is one of the big prospects of French football. He will go higher. He’s only 20.
“His progress now will not depend on his talent, but on his mentality. Only the future will tell us.”