Back in January 2018 Arsenal failed in their attempts to sign West Brom defender Jonny Evans (The Sun). It was suggested at the time that the Gunners refused to pay the Baggies the £25 million valuation of the player.
At the end of that season, West Brom were relegated. Evans, far too good for the Championship, moved to Leicester City for £3.5 million (BBC Sport).
What now looks like a strange move is that Arsenal’s recruitment team didn’t return for Evans when his cost plummeted.
Leicester are flying high in the Premier League. The Foxes sit second behind leaders Liverpool and the experienced centre-back has been instrumental in Brendan Rodgers’ team.
Since Evans signed terms at the King Power Stadium, Arsenal have struggled massively at the back.
Right now, the Gunners are struggling to pair two defenders together who look capable of keeping a clean sheet.
New interim boss Freddie Ljungberg has tried two different partnerships during his opening two games. Neither has worked and the Gunners have conceded twice in each fixture.
Outsiders might have laughed when West Brom wanted £25 million for Evans in 2018. It’s fair to suggest that nobody is laughing at the Northern Irishman now, however.
Given Leicester’s rise to prominence under Rodgers, it’s even debatable as to whether Evans is perhaps worth more than £25 million on current form.
The 31-year-old has a few years left at the top level yet and alongside Caglar Soyuncu he forms part of the best defence in the Premier League.
Yesterday he netted in a 4-1 win for the Foxes against Aston Villa. Who Scored confirm that he had an 86% pass success, won three aerial challenges, made nine clearances and also intercepted the ball on three occasions.
With Arsenal conceding for fun, the Gunners fans must be wondering what might have been had they landed Evans in 2018.
Ljungberg’s team look a million miles away from silverware and it must really hurt that a former target of theirs is busy chasing a title with Leicester.