Striker scores at Emirates, 13 months after Arsenal tried to sign him

Abel Hernandez

Abel Hernandez was a deadline day target for Arsenal last September.

Arsenal struggled to a 2-2 draw with Hull City yesterday, despite taking the lead through an excellent Alexis Sanchez strike. In the end they were thankful for the goal of Danny Welbeck in the 90th minute - which itself came after more excellent work from the Chilean playmaker.

But they had already been pegged back by a goal from Momo Diame which, in fairness to Arsenal, should probably have been disallowed.

The other goal came after Per Mertesacker simply lost Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez in the box - who duly tucked away a perfect header beyond Wojciech Szczesny.

Before the game Arsene Wenger had praised the signings of the Hull City boss this summer gone, of which Diame and Hernandez were party.

But the fact these two scored will have stuck in the mouth of Wenger even more.

It is well known that Arsenal have courted Diame in the past. Concerns over his physical condition have often prevented Diame, who suffers from a manageable heart malady, from moves to top clubs.

What is less known is how Arsenal and Wenger once tried to sign the man who almost bagged a winning goal against them yesterday.

The striker Hernandez almost signed for Arsenal in 2013.

With The Gunners needing a striker options were running out for Wenger on Transfer Deadline Day. With a move for Demba Ba struggling to be pushed through Arsenal turned to Palermo for a loan deal for the striker - after earlier securing a deal for their goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.

Hernandez had missed most of the 2012-13 season with a serious knee injury and Palermo had just been relegated to Serie B. However, he was once valued at over £15 million by the club so no loan deal was considered and Arsenal swiftly gave up the ghost.

Hernandez went on to score 14 goals in 30 games for the Italian side last season and earn a £10 million move to Hull this summer.

Yesterday he finally scored a goal at The Emirates Stadium, but Wenger would have liked it if he was scoring them for Arsenal, not against them.

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