In pictures: Arsenal v Leeds
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Arsenal made wholesale changes to their squad in the summer transfer window, but £60million proved too much in one particular deal. The Gunners brought in six new faces this summer with Mikel Arteta overseeing a drastic overhaul after a disappointing season last year.
Stan Kroenke heavily backed Edu and Arteta in the market with close to £150million spent on the likes of Ben White and Martin Odegaard.
Improving their options in midfield was a top priority too with Albert Sambi Lokonga coming in.
The 22-year-old has shown glimpses of his potential since joining while Odegaard too has impressed in parts.
But neither player was the original target for Arsenal in midfield with Leicester’s James Maddison being listed as their No 1 priority.
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Discussions took place in the summer with Leicester standing firm on their £60m valuation.
According to Football London, four different players were offered as makeweights to try and bring down that price.
However, the Foxes were only willing to entertain a straight-cash deal and weren’t budging on their asking price.
Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were all reportedly offered to Leicester.
When it became clear that a deal for Maddison looked unlikely, Arsenal moved their focus elsewhere.
And it’s now being reported that Arsenal are ‘unlikely’ to try again when the transfer market reopens in January.
Maddison is said to have been ‘keen’ on a move to the Emirates, but his dream move to Arsenal looks to be over.
The midfielder’s form over the past few years saw him touted for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England side.
But Maddison’s performances have dipped of late with his goal against Brentford last weekend being his first in the league since February.
The 24-year-old recently opened up on his struggles, but believes he’s now turned a corner.
“It has probably been the hardest time of my career. People on the outside don’t know my life and I am my own biggest critic,” he said.
“If I have had a bad game, I watch it back straight away. I am very critical of myself.
“Goals and assists are a part of it, but it is about playing as well, to the level I know I can. I had a good chat with the manager and I told him I was a little bit low on confidence.
“That is the first time I have been able to hold my hands up and say that because it puts you in a bit of a vulnerable position, but that was me being honest.
“We looked at my best clips and what makes me a good player. In recent games, I have felt more like myself, like I had my swagger back. Sometimes you can overthink things.”
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