We’ve become used to the groanings of Wenger speaking of players who, but for one pound or predicament, almost became Gunners, but this time, it’s a player on the moaning side.
Remember M’Bame Niang?
Yes, the 19-year old French forward was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in 2012, as the potential replacement to the departing Robin van Persie at the time.
It had even been reported by many media outlets that a deal had been done, subject to formal announcement on the club website but as it has happened in many links involving players and Arsenal, Niang was seen on TV holding the red-and-black stripes of AC Milan at the San Siro. It has not turned out to be rosy for the youngster so far with the Rossonerri, and he has now come out to reveal, perhaps, it was never his intention to go Italy in the first place.
Niang, speaking with the Sun, disclosed:
“I spoke with Arsene Wenger in his office. We spoke for hours. He wanted me, asked if I was ready to come and I said, ‘yes’. Then after that, it’s between the two clubs.”
“They didn’t come to an understanding and told me that Adriano Galliani had reached an understanding with Caen.”
Perhaps naïve at 17, there was not much he could do to influence his next destination, having been involved in some altercation with his father over a perceived disagreement over the circumstances of Niang’s signing his first contract at Caen.
Nevertheless, the youngster surely imagined that Milan was still a big club and went on to append consent to a three-year contract. Life in Milan did begin on a positive note for the highly-rated star, making history as Milan’s second youngest scorer of all-time when he came on as a substitute to score in the 5th round of the Coppa Italia against Reggina in 2012. However, 28 League appearances without a goal saw him shipped back to France a month later.
He has since acquired a suspended jail sentence for a hit-and-run incident involving his Ferrari in Februaray and all the promise of his initially blooming career has been covered in a cyst.
A return this season to Milan hasn’t seen him presented with many first team opportunities and he is believed to already be on the lookout for a new lease of life elsewhere, and it could be that Wenger still moves for him, if he feels the player’s still got his head right.
There are not many things with the potential to see an Arsenal deal fall through, and most guesses would be that Wenger probably did not agree with some parts of the terms proposed by Caen. Well, he hasn’t (yet) gone on to become an Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo or Drogba so there may be not many gooners bearing down on Wenger for not convincing him enough to join.
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