Mikel Arteta had reportedly asked Edu and Raul Sanllehi to stop pursuing Bayer Leverkusen star Kevin Volland upon arriving at Emirates.
According to Mirror, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had doubts about Kevin Volland when he was initially appointed as the permanent replacement for Unai Emery. In fact, it was Emery who was keen on acquiring the services of the Bayer Leverkusen star, who is regarded as one of the top strikers in the Bundesliga right now.
Arsenal even continued their pursuit of Volland under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg. However, Arteta was quick to inform sporting director Edu and head Raul Sanllehi of his doubts about the player. As a result, the club ended their pursuit of Volland, which eventually led to the January signings of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.
Mari has already made a solid impression after coming from Flamengo on a short-term loan deal. In fact, the Spaniard’s contract could be made permanent this summer as Arteta looks to bolster his defensive options prior to the start of next season.
For Volland, however, things could have been very different even if he had joined Arsenal in January. The 27-year-old is currently enjoying a productive campaign in the Bundesliga, having been involved in 17 goals. He has emerged as one of the key components for Peter Bosz’s aggressive style of play.
As a matter of fact, Volland has been involved in a whopping 38 goals in just 51 competitive matches under the ex-Dortmund coach. His tenacity and aggression have tuned in perfectly to Leverkusen’s high press, though the German has also received adequate support from Leon Bailey and Kai Havertz, who is also a precious commodity in the market.
At Arsenal, Volland could indeed have been a welcome addition. His presence in the side would have provided Arteta with an additional option in the final third, especially with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang linked with a move away from Emirates.
Although Volland may not be as pacy as his Gabonese counterpart, he is certainly a scourge for the defenders on the counter. In addition, he is quite lethal in front of goal, though he does sometimes tend to miss clear-cut scoring opportunities.
Nevertheless, the Bayer Leverkusen star is definitely a viable option for Arsenal and pulling the plug on his pursuit was a big mistake by Arteta. Fortunately, however, the Gunners still have time as they can always reignite their interest in Volland in the upcoming summer transfer window, though they are likely to face stiff competition.