£51 million could-have-been's braced for Arsenal meetings

Arsenal face a Champions League group from hell, which could see some familiar faces come back to haunt them.

Arsenal's Champions League groups in recent years can best be described as 'moderately tough'.

This year there is no usual fixture against Greek side Olympiakos, but a tough trio which makes a mockery of UEFA's seeding system.

Last year's finalists Borussia Dortmund were in pot three, below Marseille, and along with a dangerous Napoli side which reached the last 16 two years ago, make up a tough quartet.

Key to Arsenal's chances are stopping their opponent's dangermen, which will serve to highlight the Gunners' transfer failings. From a public relation point of view and well as a footballing one, it's a nightmare for the Arsenal board.

Each team signed a key player this summer who was linked with Arsenal, and they will have to hope the decision not to buy the trio will not come back to haunt them, who could have been bought for a combined £51 million, leaving plenty of the club's rumoured - and as yet unspent - £70 million budget left over:

Gonzalo Higuain £32.5 million

Arsenal's pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain was well documented, with at one stage the Argentine international believed to be en route to the Emirates for a medical. Arsenal switched targets to Luis Suarez, a disastrous decision, wasting a month of efforts on the Liverpool man, allowing Napoli to steal in and sign Higuain from Real Madrid. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang £11.4 million

Aubameyang had a sensational season at Saint Etienne in Ligue One, capturing the attentions of many clubs around Europe. Dubbed the 'African Neymar', Arsenal were linked with the Gabon international on numerous occasions, but failed to pursue that credited interest. Borussia Dortmund pounced, snapping up the striker for a bargain price, who scored a hat-trick on his Bundesliga debut.

Dimitri Payet £7.6 million

Dimitri Payet impressed at Lille last season stepping into Eden Hazard's shoes, scoring 12 goals and providing 18 assists from the left wing. He was touted as a Gervinho replacement at Arsenal, but Marseille stole into sign him and have not looked back. Payet has scored three goals in his opening Ligue One games and will be a huge danger to Arsenal when they face them.

Arsenal fans, how do you feel about the draw?

image: © Jan S0L0

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch