Arsenal hero: Wenger should have signed £50m valued star with Spaniard

Martin Keown believes Arsenal should have signed Ross Barkley two-and-a-half seasons ago.

It seems a long time ago Arsenal were battered 8-2 by Manchester United, but it was that game which prompted a mini-spending spree from Arsene Wenger to steady the ship.

There were some misses (Park Chu-Young and Andre Santos), but there were a couple of direct hits too in Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta.

Arteta was bought from Everton for £10 million, and he has been arguably the Gunners' most consistent player since arriving, to little surprise of anybody who saw his performances at Goodison Park.

Martin Keown, former Arsenal defender, has been discussing another Everton player - and believes he should have brought him to The Emirates as part of the deal.

Speaking in his Mail column, he said: "When Arsenal bought Mikel Arteta, I thought they should have tried to sign Barkley, too.

"I’d seen him play at a very young age and he has always had that talent. I think he needs to stay at Everton for at least two or three more seasons to continue his development. He should see what can be achieved at Everton rather than thinking about moving on."

Barkley now is in the midst of a breakout season at Everton under Roberto Martinez, and the Manchester Evening News this week linked Manchester United with making a £50m offer for his services, a fee the Toffees boss said he would even reject.

The midfielder was outstanding when Everton took on Arsenal at The Emirates last month, outshining Jack Wilshere in the clash, and is likely to join the Gunner in the England squad for next year's World Cup.

Wenger however can't win them all, and is unable to snap up every talented youngster who crops up on the radar.

While he has missed the boat on Barkley, he has his own jewels who may soon enough put Barkley in the shade. Teenager whizkid Gedion Zelalem is being tipped to feature in the FA Cup against Spurs at the weekend, while the addition of Aston Villa prospect Dan Crowley back in the summer was exactly what Keown described Wenger should have done with regard to the Everton man.

image: © domfell

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