Mikel Arteta tried in January to re-sign 'very good' player sold by Arsene Wenger for just €1 million
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tried to re-sign former Gunners academy graduate Ismael Bennacer during the January transfer window, according to a new report.
At 17 years of age, the Algeria international was initially assigned to the Gunners' age-group teams, and made his senior debut during a League Cup match in October 2015.
That was to be the midfielder's first and only senior game in an Arsenal shirt, and he spent the 2016/17 season on loan at Ligue 2 side Tours before moving to Italy to join Empoli on a permanent deal at the end of the campaign.
Bennacer played a key role in helping his new side to promotion to Serie A, and then starred in his first campaign in the Italian top flight.
That caught the eye of Milan, where he has made 138 appearances in four seasons.
Now, as one of the top deep-lying midfielders in Europe, Arsenal will perhaps be regretting letting the 25-year-old leave in a deal that, as per Transfermarkt, was worth just €1 million. He was described as a 'very good' player by Gunners legend Thierry Henry last year.
But it has now been claimed that Arteta attempted to somewhat right the wrongs of that deal.
Arteta 'attempted to re-sign Bennacer'
The report adds that the Algerian has characteristics that Arteta likes - and the pair were actually on the playing staff at Arsenal at the same time.
The Spaniard was spotted in conversation with the midfielder after Arsenal and Milan played a friendly in December's Dubai Super Cup.
He signed a new contract with Milan in January that runs until 2027, although OneFootball claim it contains a €50 million release clause that becomes active in 2024.