Draxler, Rabiot and the PSG stars Arsenal failed to sign

Half the team that destroyed Barcelona could have been playing for Arsenal against Bayern Munich tonight

Julian Draxler Paris Saint-Germain
Julian Draxler is delighted as Paris Saint-Germain demolish Barcelona
(Image credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

It is seven years since Arsenal last won a knock-out tie in the Champions League and few Gunners fans will be relishing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena tonight.

Optimistic supporters could take heart from the performance of Paris Saint-Germain, who demolished Spanish giants Barcelona in the first leg of their tie on Tuesday night.

But a cynic might argue the French side's stunning 4-0 victory over Barca only serves to highlight Arsenal's inadequacies in the transfer market in recent seasons.

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Many of the players who starred for PSG last night could, or should, have been playing at the Emirates this term.

Here are the PSG heroes who could have been wearing red and white.

Kevin Trapp:

Goalkeeper Trapp had precious little to do at the Parc des Princes, but he could have spent the evening watching on TV with the Arsenal squad if Arsene Wenger had got his skates on in January 2015, when the player was rumoured to be on the verge of leaving Eintracht Frankfurt.

"The Gunners have taken note of 24-year-old Trapp's impressive performances in the Bundesliga and could land him for just under £4m," reported the Daily Star at the time.

Trapp eventually joined PSG in the summer of 2015.

Layvin Kurzawa:

Arsenal were on "red alert" for the defender in 2015, when Metro reported they were "keen to add flying full-back Kurzawa to their defensive options for next season".

He did switch clubs that summer, but only got halfway to London after leaving Monaco as he moved to Paris.


Arsenal were one of several clubs sniffing around the Brazilian centre-back last summer as he contemplated a move away from Paris. They even got in touch with his agent, reported the Daily Express, but it came to nothing.

Marco Verratti:

The Italy midfielder was majestic against Barcelona, but could he have been lured away from PSG in January? There was talk of a rift with manager Unai Emery late last year and Wenger was said to be waiting in the wings.

"Arsenal are one of several clubs to be linked with a move for the Italian international, with reports suggesting that the Gunners see him as a potential replacement for Santi Cazorla, whose contract at the Emirates is due to expire at the end of the current campaign," reported the Daily Mirror in October.

Adrien Rabiot:

If the first few players on the list were only vaguely linked with the Gunners, there is no doubt Rabiot has been on the Arsenal radar for a while.

Rumours linking the young midfielder to the Emirates date back to 2014, when talks about a move were first held with the Gunners.

There were more rumours in 2015 and 2016 and even last month, but still Wenger was unable to land his man.

Just to rub salt into the wound, on the day the Frenchman helped dismantle Barcelona, he was still being linked with a move away from PSG by TalkSport.

Arsenal fans will hope that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can do as good a job as Rabiot in the middle of the park against Bayern.

Blaise Matuidi:

The France midfielder was scouted by Arsenal as long ago as 2009, but joined PSG in 2011. He was then linked with a move to London in 2014 and later claimed to have rejected an offer.

Matuidi is expected to leave PSG this summer, but his chance to become a Gunner has passed.

Julian Draxler:

Like Rabiot, Draxler has been a genuine Arsenal target for years, but Wenger's attempts to sign him have failed miserably.

They came close to signing him from Schalke in January 2014, only to back out when faced with his £37m buy-out clause. Attempts to revive the deal that summer failed when he committed to Schalke.

The following summer he did move on, but to Wolfsburg, despite more interest from the Gunners. However, things did not go well and he came close to leaving last summer.

Many assumed he would then become one of Wenger's men, but not for the first time the manager failed to land his man and when Draxler did eventually move last month, it was Paris Saint-Germain who nipped in to sign him.

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