Tuesday, 26th November, 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he did indeed want to buy Florian Thauvin before the playmaker moved to Lille, signing for the club in January this year.

Thauvin was subsequently loaned back to former club Bastia to complete the season before landing at Lille this summer.


But he failed to turn out for Lille, demanding a move to Marseille, which eventually went through just before the summer transfer window closed; Thauvin had even skipped training to force the move.

And Wenger admits he was in the market for the 20-year-old before Lille won the race.


"The transfer was a surprise to me", the Gunners boss was quoted as saying by Le 10 Sport.

"He was also followed and we were interested in him before he went to Lille.

"He is one of the great hopes of French football.

"He can rise higher, he is only 20 years old.

"As for his progression, it depends not only on his talent, but I would say it depends also on his mind.

"We can say during the transfer, it was both very strong, but we can also question his mentality because of the attitude he took over Lille. The future will tell."

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