£24m trialist who got 'impatient' is Arsenal's 'Matic moment'

As Chelsea re-sign Nemanja Matic for a fee in the region of £21 million we look at which player Tottenham Hotspur might regret letting go.

Today will see Chelsea splash out around £21 million on the type of player they thoroughly need. A box-to-box midfield player both technically gifted and strong in the tackle - he is the perfect player for 'the Jose Mourinho' football philosophy.

Like Costinha, Claude Makelele, Esteban Cambiasso or Sami Khedira before - Mourinho always has one unfashionable player among his midfield - there to provide the canvas for the artists ahead of him.

But that player is Nemanja Matic - who they let go as part of a swap deal just three years ago.

But if the other big teams in the Premier League had a ‘Matic Moment’ … who would it be?

Who would Arsenal spend big on now, that they let go so cheaply years ago?

Well technically the player in question never really played for the club - and before you go, Ibrahimovic, that is not the person in question.

Remember, he rejected Arsenal - Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.

The player in question is now one of the world’s most valuable midfield players and cost Manchester City a whopping £24 million in 2010.

The player is of course Yaya Toure - and most Arsenal fans know the story.

Toure was on trial at the club from Belgian side Beveren in 2003. He played a friendly match against Barnet, as a second-striker, and Arsene Wenger called his performance ‘completely average’.

Wenger could not decide on his favoured position for the player, and despite his brother Kolo getting the documentation to play for the club Yaya had some trouble.

So with a little help from the not so quick services of our Home Office Toure got fed up - and went to Metalurh Donetsk in Ukraine instead.

Speaking of not signing Toure, Wenger has previously said:

“I have known Yaya Toure since he was 15. We had an agreement for him to come here but we had a problem because he had to wait for a European ­passport. He became impatient and went, at the time, to Metalurh Donestsk. The only problem was to fix his position because he could play centre-back, as a second striker or in midfield. In a pre-season game at Barnet he played as a second striker, and was completely average!”

But surely Arsenal could have convinced him to hang around longer, and despite not doing it, we bet they wish they had.

Because they would certainly spend Matic-like sums to get him back.

image: © marc_tacoma

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