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Mikel Arteta tried in January to re-sign 'very good' player sold by Arsene Wenger for just €1 million

Ryan Smart

| Last updated 

Mikel Arteta tried in January to re-sign 'very good' player sold by Arsene Wenger for just €1 million

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tried to re-sign former Gunners academy graduate Ismael Bennacer during the January transfer window, according to a new report.

Bennacer, who now plays for Serie A holders AC Milan, signed for Arsenal when Arsene Wenger was in charge back in 2015.

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'

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Arsenal 'tried seriously' to bring Bennacer back to the Emirates Stadium before sealing the signing of Jorginho from Chelsea on transfer deadline day.

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.

A deal in the summer, however, appears unlikely, with Calciomercato claiming that Bennacer has already rejected offers from the Premier League and La Liga as he sees his long-term future at San Siro.

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.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy / AP Photo/Antonio Calanni / Cal Sport Media via AP Images

Topics: Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Arsene Wenger, Premier League, AC Milan, Transfers

Ryan Smart
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