With enough names on the ‘nearly signed’ list to make up a full starting XI, Arsene Wenger has released the latest name that he missed out on.
Ahead of Arsenal’s return to the Premier League on Monday night, Wenger revealed that he attempted to sign Gareth Barry before being out-bid by Manchester City.
Back in 2009 when Barry was a little bit fresher faced, Wenger was looking for a central versatile midfielder that could add some sense of balance across the team.
At 36 years of age Barry is now set to break the all-time record of appearances (633) in the Premier League if he features at the Emirates Stadium for West Brom next week.
Barry’s move to City eight years ago sparked the first wave of English talent in their team and after lifting the Premier League and FA Cup, he later moved on to join Everton.
Standing as one of their most reliable candidates to line up in midfield, Wenger suggested his presence would’ve been a perfect fit for an Arsenal side that lacked leaders.
We were interested in him, yes, when he went from Villa to City. But at the time, City was the big investor. Their financial potential was superior to us at the time.
He’s a player who’s determined, strong in the challenge and I personally always rated him highly. He was a bit unlucky with England because he was in the period of Gerrard and Lampard.
What you see is what you get when it comes to Gareth Barry and it’d be interesting to see how Arsenal would’ve faired with his frame of mind in the dressing room all those years ago.
In what is likely to be his final season in the Premier League, Barry will want to walk away from North London next Monday having seen his side pick up all three points.
Arsenal struggled against Tony Pulis’ side last year having lost 3-1 at their place and only just clinching a win at home thanks to an Olivier Giroud last-minute goal.