Will Arsenal regret turning down France's Under-20 World Cup winner?

Arsene Wenger

Marseille's Florian Thauvin is set to line up against the side who could have signed him this week.

With four goals in his last five matches, Marseille’s Florian Thauvin is a man in form ahead of his side’s clash with Arsenal – and he could have been playing for the Gunners.

The attacking midfielder, who helped his France win the Under-20 World Cup, is set to line up against Wenger’s side in their crucial Champions League clash at the Emirates this week.

Thauvin is one of the hottest young prospects in Ligue 1. He moved to Lille in January before switching to Marseille in September, and Wenger revealed that he came close to signing the talented 20-year-old, but was put off by concerns over Thauvin’s temperament.

“This transfer was a surprise for me. We were also following him, and we were interested in him before he went to Lille,” said Wenger.

“He is one of the great hopes of French football. He will go higher, he’s only 20 years old.

“His progress does not depend on his talent, but I would say it depends on his mind. The future will tell [the story].”

Thauvin’s move to Lille put an end to rumours that he would move to the Premier League. However, he was soon sent out to Bastia on loan, before agreeing a switch to Marseille in a five-year-deal.

That move came after intense interest from Newcastle United, who had a £10 million bid rejected in August.

image: © Matt and Kim Rudge

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