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Wenger is still a big fan of 'great' attacker Arsenal once wanted; he would've cost more than Pepe
Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images for Laureus

Wenger is still a big fan of 'great' attacker Arsenal once wanted; he would've cost more than Pepe

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsene Wenger heaped praise on Atletico Madrid attacker Thomas Lemar following his impressive first-half performance against Liverpool in the Champions League last night.

Liverpool were on the front foot from the start thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita inside the first 13 minutes. Antoine Griezmann pulled it back to 2-2 before half-time, but Wenger’s praise was more directed at Lemar.

The French winger really impressed the ex-Arsenal boss in the first half. Wenger, who wanted to sign Lemar four seasons ago, claimed that the 25-year-old deserved special praise for helping Atleti get back into the game after being two goals down.

Wenger: Lemar was ‘great’ against Liverpool

The legendary Frenchman said on beIN Sports: “Overall, I must say you have to give credit to Atletico Madrid and especially to Lemar.

“You see on this occasion, Lemar – what he did is tonight, in the one against one was great and he is taking importance in that team.”

It is no surprise that Wenger liked Lemar’s performance last night. The former Arsenal boss was a big fan of him four years ago, so much so, that he was willing to break multiple transfer records to sign him.

Sky Sports reported at the end of August in 2017 that Arsenal had launched an outrageous £92 million bid to sign Lemar from Monaco. The Frenchman decided to stay then and eventually moved to Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal’s current transfer record stands at £72 million (BBC). That was spent on Nicolas Pepe in 2019 but had Lemar agreed to move to the Emirates, the Ivorian’s price tag probably wouldn’t have received as much attention as it did.

Lemar is a very good player and he did impress against Liverpool last night, especially in the first half. However, he’s not worth anything close to £92 million. Arsenal may have just dodged a bullet there.

Photo by TF-Images./Getty Images
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