Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has broken his silence after a transfer to Arsenal failed to materialise in the summer transfer window.
Arsenal’s interest in Aouar was one of the worst kept secrets of the summer transfer window. It’s difficult to keep negotiations under wraps when the club chief of the selling party is tweeting about your offer being too far under value.
But eh, that’s modern football.
Transferts : Houssem Aouar (OL) d’accord avec Arsenal – ?@OL? ?:il y aura très peu de départs: pour Houssem Arsenal est bcp trop éloigné de sa valeur: on compte sur lui pour faire un grand match à Lorient et mener l’OL en CL l’année prochaine ? https://t.co/8SUKIHLcLJ
— Jean-Michel AULAS (@JM_Aulas) September 26, 2020
For those non French speakers, Aulas politely told the Gunners to jog on.
He got his own way in the end, too, with Aouar remaining a Lyon player beyond the transfer deadline and Arsenal instead turning to Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, whom they signed narrowly before the window shut.
Aouar will have been well aware of Arsenal’s interest in signing him, and perhaps if he showed a greater willingness to make the move happen, he’d be lining up for them after the international break.
However, in these comments reported by the Express, it seems he is more than happy to remain with Lyon for the upcoming campaign.
“Of course I asked myself all the necessary questions. I am in the headspace to have a great season with my club and get back the points that we have lost.”
“So of course we are going to try to do the best season and to try to put the team and the club back in its rightful place, at the top of France.”
“Disappointed? I am the opposite. I am at home, in the club that I love, with my friends and my family.”
It remains to be seen if Mikel Arteta will revive his interest in Aouar in the future. He is a different profile of midfielder than Partey, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be one or the other.
For now, though, he’s staying put.