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Southampton's latest signing Eljero Elia nearly joined Arsenal in 2011

Werder Bremen Training

The Dutch international got tired of waiting for Arsenal in the summer of 2011 and joined Juventus instead.

The transfer window may not be open just yet but that has not stopped some teams trying to get the jump on their rivals by agreeing deals early.

This week for example has seen Swansea City tie down Nelson Oliveira on loan from SL Benfica and Southampton have also pulled off a similar deal.

Yesterday saw Southampton confirm a deal for Eljero Elia on loan from Werder Bremen. The Dutch international will join up with his new team-mates on the 3rd January and will provide cover for Southampton after Jay Rodriguez suffered a setback in his knee recovery and with Sadio Mane on his way to Equatorial Guinea for the African Cup of Nations.

And for the 27-year-old, it might be the last chance saloon move he needs.

Elia burst onto the scene for ADO Den Haag back in 2004 before going on to join FC Twente. He scored in his second ever game for Holland v Scotland and secured big moves, first to Hamburg SV and then Italian giants Juventus.

He even rejected the Premier League to make his Italian switch. Elia was wanted by Arsenal. The club enquired for his services before he made the €9 million move to Turin. Elia even confirmed as much himself, as well as other English clubs:

"My agent did have contact with Arsenal, but it took too long. I had no contact with Arsene Wenger.

"Wigan, Everton, Fulham and Newcastle had fairly concrete interest."

Soon enough it looked like Arsenal dodged a bullet.

Since joining Juventus in 2011 his form slid dramatically. He spent just one season under Antonio Conte, failing to impress and playing just five times.

He returned to Germany the following summer, even though Arsenal were again linked, joining Werder Bremen. But he struggled to find his best form at the Weserstadion and, despite playing a prominent role in the side last season, has found himself out of favour this term, not playing since a two minute cameo against former team Hamburg last month.

Now he has a chance to resurrect a once promising career, as well as proving Arsenal wrong for dawdling in 2011.

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