Kevin Campbell has spoken of his disappointment after Arsenal failed to get a deal over the line for Houssem Aouar this summer but told the midfielder he will be ‘next on the radar for Mikel Arteta and Edu’.
Arsenal head coach Arteta made it clear he was keen to strengthen his options in the middle of the park at the start of the transfer window but had only added central defender Gabriel Magalhaes to his first-team squad with just hours left on the clock ahead of Monday’s deadline.
Multiple bids were rejected for Aouar as Lyon stood firm over their €60million (£55m) asking price and 22-year-old attacking midfielder will remain in France for the start of the new Ligue 1 campaign.
Arsenal did, though, strike a last-ditch deal for Thomas Partey, 27, after activating a £45m release clause in his contract at Atletico Madrid and the Ghana international should be in line to feature when Arteta’s men face Manchester City in two weekends’ time.
However, Campbell is confident Aouar will still be on Arsenal’s shortlist of transfer targets as the France international has the creative game that Arteta craves in midfield.
‘Who is next? Houssem Aouar, we missed you. We didn’t get you this time!’ the former Arsenal striker said on YouTube channel The Highbury Squad.
‘Whether we can get you in January, I’m not sure. But I’m sure you’re next on the radar for Mikel Arteta and Edu.
‘Somebody like yourself to add to the quality of that midfield, attacking, creative side.
‘You hopefully will be a Gunner at some stage in the future.’
Alan Smith said it was a ‘real shame’ when it became clear Arsenal’s hopes of landing Aouar were over this summer.
‘They have been linked with Aouar from Lyon for a while,’ the ex-Arsenal forward told Sky Sports.
‘It sounds like that’s dead and that’s a real shame.
‘He’s that creative player like Mesut Ozil was for a long time and Santi Cazorla was for a long time.
‘A creative player is what they are missing. They have solid midfielders but lack a player with that vision.’