Defender Loic Perrin has revealed there was interest from the Gunners and he wanted the move in the January transfer window. New Arsenal signing Krystian Bielik may not make his debut this season.
Arsenal did some good business in the January transfer window bringing in reinforcements in both the midfield and defence, areas where they fell short of depth in the first half of the season. Arsenal made two signings in the form of youngsters Bielik and Gabriel in January.
St. Etienne defender Loic Perrin was also one of the defenders believed to be on Arsenal’s radar. However, Arsene Wenger decided to sign Gabriel from Villareal instead of the 29-year old Perrin. The France international revealed that there were serious talks with his agent and admitted that he would not have rejected the opportunity to sign for The Gunners.
“There were serious contacts via my agent. I think I was on a shortlist but not at the very top apparently,” Perrin said.
“A transfer in this window, it is difficult. But it is difficult to refuse Arsenal. I have always said that if I have to leave St Étienne, one day, it would be for a bigger club, a club that plays Champions League.
“A club like Arsenal, I don’t think many Ligue 1 players would refuse.”
On the other hand, teenager Krystian Bielik, who joined Arsenal from Legia Warsaw in a £2.4m deal and was the club’s first signing of the January transfer window, may have to wait for a while to get his debut in the Arsenal shirt.
Arsene Wenger revealed in the club’s match-day programme that Bielik is working on his fitness and he is no hurry to give the 17-year old some match-time. Wenger insisted that the Polish midfielder might have to wait till the end of the year to play his first game for Arsenal.
“Krystian Bielik is building up his fitness,” wrote Wenger. “The first signs we have seen are very positive.
“He’s a very strong player, he’s 17, he has a very good technical level and looks intelligent. But we’ll have to give him a little time to settle and adapt.
“I like to take players of that age mid-season because it gives them a cushion of four or five months to settle, adapt and then be ready for the following season.”
When Wenger signed the youngster, he was full of praise for the 17-year old midfielder.
Wenger said: “He’s a young boy and he has a huge talent.”