The transfer window is one of the most active and exciting periods of the Premier League season and a whole host of clubs are put under pressure to bring in the world’s top stars. Arsenal fans are notoriously ruthless on their manager and Arsene Wenger is often criticised for his lack of big-money signings. The league’s other top four clubs are less hesitant and there’s been some huge figures splashed around this season already.
With just days before the end of the transfer window, time’s running out for some managers to secure their signings but there have already been some players who have turned down a move to the Premier League. From proven European stars to the world’s next best youngster, here are just a few players who won’t be playing in England this season and the clubs which missed out on signing them.
Jurgen Klopp’s arrival at Anfield burst the Reds into life and although they had a disappointing Premier League campaign, he led them to a Europa final. This summer was one filled with excitement and anticipation from Liverpool fans as they hoped their manager’s reputation and pedigree would attract some of Europe’s biggest stars. As predicted, Klopp turned his attention to Germany, where he secured the transfers of Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Lloris Karius but the one everyone wanted got away.
Mario Gotze, who was once guided and inspired by Klopp from a young age at Borussia Dortmund, longed for a return with his former boss. He went from being a Dortmund hero, to a Bayern Munich superstar, reaping the successes of the German club. However, he was heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga champions after struggling to feature regularly as a first team starter.
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp expressed their interest and it was clear he would be a valuable addition to the Reds squad. Gotze was reported quoting his praises for the German boss too and it looked like a fairy tale reunion. The forward was also linked with a return to his childhood club, Borussia Dortmund but the fans apparent dislike and feeling of betrayal towards Gotze seemed to indicate there wouldn’t be a return. In the end, Gotze made the switch back across the pond after weeks of speculation and Liverpool fans were left pondering what could’ve been this season.
Joe Hart’s performances in goal last season led to huge criticism from Manchester City fans and his inconsistent levels for England throughout the European Championships didn’t help. The goalkeeper was outshone by his number two, Willy Caballero at times last year and he was left out of the Blues’ opening fixture of this season’s Premier League campaign.
There were calls for Hart to be dropped as England’s number one and he could be facing an uphill battle to keep his place in the Manchester City team after Pep Guardiola left him on the bench for his first game in charge. However, Hart could’ve been in an even worse situation had Guardiola secured the signing of Keylor Navas from Real Madrid.
The Spanish giants were happy to let Navas go should they find a suitable replacement but it looks like the Real Madrid keeper will be staying put now. Manchester United keeper, David De Gea, has long been linked with a switch to Real Madrid but Jose Mourinho’s arrival looks set to make sure he won’t be leaving and therefore Navas is unlikely to be replaced. Manchester City may have to wait until January to look elsewhere for a replacement or hope that Hart’s form returns for the 2016-17 campaign.
Juventus got their man for £75.3m in a transfer which shocked world football in July. The former Napoli forward became football’s fourth most expensive signing in history behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Gareth Bale. The 29 year-old didn’t even make the 23-man shortlist for the Ballon D’or but was a top target for a number of Premier League clubs after he hit 36 goals in the Serie A last season. His goal-scoring tally, which equalled the record for the most goals scored in a Serie A season, proved his talents as a forward but the fee was considered a ridiculous figure by most.
It’s no wonder he didn’t make the switch to the Premier League when Juventus were prepared to splash out that amount of money. Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea were all linked with the striker though and he would’ve made a valuable contribution to their campaigns. In the end, Paul Pogba’s big-money switch to Manchester United meant Juventus were able to spend the dollar and it was a fee the English clubs couldn’t compete with.
Arsenal were linked with a number of strikers this summer after a lack of firepower last season created a need for a summer signing. As well as Higuain, the Gunners were heavily reported as interested in Paris Saint-Germain’s forward, Edinson Cavani. The European star was believed to have wanted a way out of the French club if Zlatan Ibrahimovic was to complete his move to Manchester United.
The Uruguayan formed a formidable partnership with the Swedish star but with the striker heading out of France, Cavani looked set to follow him to England. However, Arsenal fans were left pondering whether they’d make a signing at all after the PSG man eventually committed his future to the club by signing a new long-term contract.
The list of strikers linked with a move to Arsenal was seemingly endless and Lacazette was another prospect Gunners fans hoped to see make the switch. The Lyon forward is a formidable goal-scorer and would be a fantastic addition to the Premier League. However, Lyon boss Bruno Genesio has insisted the striker is going nowhere and time seems to be running out for the English side.
The 25 year-old has averaged more than a goal a game since breaking into the Lyon first team and performing in the French Ligue 1 since 2010. He’s notched up 72 goals in 143 league appearances and was the season’s top goal scorer during the 2014-15 season. Despite another impressive season, Lacazette failed to make the French European Championship squad this summer, losing out to a place in attack with Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud earning a place. He’s recorded just ten international caps but many believe the European star would shine in the Premier League.
It looks like Arsenal will miss out though and the £40m plus transfer fee which would be demanded looks like a step too far for Arsene Wenger.