Usually a player coming out to state a certain club should’ve signed an ex teammate is mostly nonsense, and just somebody sticking up for one of their friends. This claim does make a bit of sense in hindsight.
Peter Crouch has become a bit of a quote machine since retiring and some recent comments were picked up by The Mirror. He had been talking about a few different hings but one notable topic was his former Stoke teammate Steven N’Zonzi.
Arsenal have plenty of issues right now, but one serious one is the lack of a composed physical presence in midfield who can control the team and anchor them. Many thought Granit Xhaka could become that player but he’s so incredibly inconsistent and unreliable.
Crouch talked about the possibility of Nzonzi signing for Arsenal when he left Stoke: “I have wanted Arsenal to address the defensive balance of their side for years and never understood why they didn’t buy Steven N’Zonzi. He ended up going to Sevilla for £7million and it was madness Arsenal allowed that to happen.”
This is where hindsight becomes a wonderful thing. There’s no doubt the midfielder now playing for Galatasaray is better than anyone Arsenal currently have in that role, or anyone than played there over the past few years. If they did sign him then who knows what kind of impact he may have had on the team?
The problem is when you consider the circumstances at the time. Arsenal fans have been demanding the team spend money for a while now. If they had brought a midfielder from Stoke for £7m it’s easy to argue the fans would’ve slammed the board for taking the cheap option and he probably wouldn’t have got a fair chance.
The fact remains that Arsenal are crying out for some experience and steel in that midfield. They have so much attacking talent but look completely vulnerable when things start to go wrong. There was no greater example of this than throwing away the 2-0 lead over Watford last weekend.
We will never know, but the Frenchman could’ve been a vital signing for Arsenal if they had moved for him at the time.