During Arsène Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal, the amount of players the Frenchman missed out on became something of a recurring joke.
Another one to add to that list is Liverpool star Sadio Mané, as Mady Touré, president of the Génération Foot Academy in Senegal, revealed to the country’s press agency in an interview.
Relayed by TeleDakar, he explained: “After the 2012 Olympic Games (in London), I offered him to Gilles Grimandi (the scout in charge of French recruitment at the time).”
However, Touré explained the Arsenal representative never followed up on the offer to sign the forward, who was then playing for Metz in Ligue 2.
Looking at Mané’s stats for that particular season, you can see why Grimandi decided against moving for the winger, as he’d only managed to score one goal and pick up one assist in 19 appearances.
What followed, however, is history, as his first season with Red Bull Salzburg in the following campaign was one to remember as he scored 19 goals and assisted teammates 10 times in 30 appearances.
The question is would Mané be the player he is now had he signed for Arsenal back in 2012?
Maybe not, but it’s a gamble Touré feels was worth taking and he made sure to let Wenger know.
He recalled: “A few years later, I reminded him about that particular episode when he was still manager at Arsenal.”
Way to twist the knife, Mady.