Tottenham flop Etienne Capoue would have been better off signing for Arsenal

Etienne Capoue

Etienne Capoue was sold by Tottenham Hotspur to Watford, and may wish he signed for Arsenal instead of their North London rivals instead.

Etienne Capoue sealed his departure from Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, signing for Watford after a difficult two years at White Hart Lane.

He arrived as a French international, and left as an afterthought for both club and country, aiming to rescue his career with the newly promoted but ambitious Hornets.

It could have been very different for Capoue, who was linked in 2013 to Arsenal as well as North London rivals Tottenham.

The Telegraph reported how Arsenal attempted to buy him from Toulouse on deadline day in 2013, and were keen to return for him the following summer.

It was Spurs who were more aggressive in terms of his signature months later, as one of seven additions which would ultimately precede the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

Did Arsenal dodge a bullet?

Capoue's time at Spurs was unsatisfactory, but the feeling remains that the defensive midfielder has not had enough of a run to truly show what he can do.

His time at the club has been distorted by working under three different managers, with the one who signed him Andre Villas-Boas fired after a few months.

During this time he barely got to play, injured in the North London derby against Arsenal in September 2013.

He was handed just 11 Premier League starts in 2014/15, and eight in his debut season 2013/14, which was not really enough for the Frenchman to get a run of form together at all or really bed in.

The midfielder, now 26, could actually have flourished at Arsenal, who were crying out for a defensive minded player to fill the role he is best suited to, ever since selling Alex Song in 2012.

Only the emergence of Francis Coquelin has solved this dilemma, but in the 18 months which preceded this, he could have been more than useful.

At Tottenham he was caught among changing systems of managers, similar players like Mousa Dembele and Ryan Mason, and squeezed out.

The stability at Arsenal and clear position of need to slot into a largely successful side would have provided a better situation for him to flourish, and the Frenchman must surely wonder whether he would have been better off had he joined the red and white side of North London.

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