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5 transfer targets Arsenal failed to sign this summer

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21 Aug 2018, 19:03 IST

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League
Emery during Arsenal's 3-2 away defeat by Chelsea this past weekend

Two games into the new Premier League campaign, Arsenal have succumbed to difficult defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea

They face West Ham at the Emirates this weekend and with the transfer window already closed, many supporters cannot help but feel frustrated that their encouraging early transfer business was not fully supplemented with a few more deals to strengthen Unai Emery's first-team squad. 

Despite making five acquisitions, they spent £71m - around the same figure both Chelsea and Liverpool splashed on new first-choice goalkeepers this summer. It speaks volumes in regards to the Gunners' strategy going forward and how they're not yet ready for a sustained title challenge under new management. Instead, this term is all about solidity after Arsene Wenger's departure in May, having been at the helm for 22 years. 

With that in mind, speculation over potential incomings was running rampant all summer. Here's a look at five players that Arsenal failed to sign before the window closed: 

#5 Hamza Mendyl (Schalke) 

Spain v Morocco: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Mendyl (middle, behind no.7 Ziyech) was involved with Morocco's World Cup campaign

Sead Kolasinac's knee injury sustained late in pre-season, coupled with Nacho Monreal's own problems with fitness, meant that Arsenal suddenly found themselves targeting a backup option at left-back in the last few weeks of business. 

Someone that would be willing to fill in, but understand that given competition, it'd be unlikely he'd make the left-back spot his own unless settled quickly and excelled in England's top-flight. 

Hamza Mendyl, 20, was expected to be that man. He made 14 appearances across all competitions for Ligue 1 side Lille last season and although he didn't play, found himself rewarded with a World Cup spot for his native Morocco in June. 

He made his senior debut as an 18-year-old under Herve Renard and has shown signs of promise, though a delayed work permit ruined Arsenal's chances of finalising a deal in time. 

Bundesliga side Schalke were keen too and parted with €7m (£6.2m) for his services last week. The club's sporting director, Christian Heidel, admitted that they were fortunate to have signed him - saying "I think otherwise he would have gone to Arsenal," when quizzed about the permit complications. 

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