£8.6m Arsenal summer target could return to former club less than four months after leaving

Josuha Guilavogui could be set to return to Saint-Etienne after struggling with new club Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal may have re-signed Mathieu Flamini in the summer, but they were said to be in the running for plenty of other defensive midfielders throughout August and September.

Yohan Cabaye was linked with the club, after Arsenal made a bid for the player. Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender was also linked as well as Sevilla youngster Geoffrey Kondogbia.

Another option was reportedly Josuha Guilavogui of Saint-Etienne.

The box-to-box dynamo was reportedly the subject of an £8.6 million enquiry from the North London club and the French international was keen on a move - especially after Les Verts were dumped out of the Europa League by Esbjerg of Denmark.

In the end however he joined Atletico Madrid in a five-year deal from Saint-Etienne for €10 million - in a hope of a higher level of play giving him a chance of cementing his place in the French squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

But the way things are going in Spain he might be struggling to add to his five caps for Les Bleus.

He has played just one minute of La Liga football since making the switch to Atletico as they push for the La Liga title.

He recently addressed his difficult start at the club:

“Physically I was not ready. I took some time to digest. I know I did not choose the easy but I do not regret my choice. I'm in one of the best teams in Europe. I know there is a lot of competition in my position.

Guilavogui is now being linked with a move back to Saint-Etienne on loan in January as his international chances continue to become hindered by his lack of first-team action at the Vicente Calderon.

He made his move to Atletico on the 2nd September this year - so he has been at Madrid for less than four months and is already said to be considering a swift return to France.

But should Arsenal go back in for him?

You have to wonder whether Arsenal could go back in for him if these rumours prove true - or if they would.

If he is struggling to get into the first-team at Atletico - surely he would find it as equal a struggle to get into the Arsenal first-team.

Perhaps a move back to Ligue 1 is the best option at this point of his fledging career.

image: © manuel | MC

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch