Arsenal have a pretty good record for picking up all sorts of gems from French football. Mathieu Flamini, Samir Nasri, Olivier Giroud, Robert Pires … I need not continue.
And this summer they were looking to bring in another, in the form of Lille winger Dimitri Payet - at least according to reports.
Last season the French international finally had the chance to be the main attraction, after the former star of the show Eden Hazard made his massive move to Chelsea - and he did not fail to disappoint.
The 26-year-old wizard bagged 13 goals and provided 22 assists last season, which saw him under the microscope for many clubs across the continent.
This June Arsenal were linked with him in many English and French press reports - but in the end it was Marseille who won the race for his signature, agreeing a €10 million deal with Lille, and Payet swapping Ligue 1 outfits on a contract until 2017.
But after a promising start at the club things have gone downhill fast for the French international.
He has recently lost his place in the first-team after a poor run of performances at the Stade Velodrome.
He is not alone in that respect. Marseille finished bottom of their Champions’ League Group on zero points and are currently languishing in eighth place - despite bringing in plenty of players in the summer.
And today, French website Le10 Sport asked which of their new players had been the biggest flop this term.
And it was no surprise to see Arsenal’s €10m summer target top of the list.
Payet received 47% of the vote - ahead of Saber Khalifa on 26% and the likes of Gianelli Imbula, Florian Thauvin, Benjamin Mendy and Mario Lemina - who all sat under 10%.
Payet now seems highly unlikely to be on his way to the World Cup in the summer - with plenty of options ahead of him playing better football at this moment in time.
And he certainly seems like a player Arsenal should be glad they didn’t sign in the summer.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald