Kevin Malcuit is expected to start at right-back in Thursday’s Europa League clash between Napoli and Arsenal at the Emirates. But the Frenchman could have been wearing red rather than blue had he not rejected a move to North London during the January transfer window.
With Hector Bellerin out for the foreseeable future, the Gunners have been forced to turn Ainsley Maitland-Niles into a makeshift right-back in recent months after they failed to sign a replacement at the turn of the year.
Speaking to Radio CRC, translated by Calciomercato, Malcuit’s agent admitted that Arsenal had made a move in January but the former St Etienne defender had no interest in leaving a club he only joined in August for £9.6 million, as reported by the Express.
"After Bellerin's injury the club was looking for a full-back, but Kevin had just arrived in Naples and was playing more and more under (Carlo) Ancelotti. We didn't even consider this possibility,” Bruno Satin said in March.
Arsenal will be hoping to make Malcuit pay, while the attack-minded 27-year-old will be hoping to add to his tally of two assists and show Unai Emery what he is missing out on.
Malcuit’s position on the right of defence means he could be forced to deal with one of the most dangerous partnerships at Arsenal’s disposal with Alex Iwobi and Sead Kolasinac forging an almost telepathic understanding since Emery’s arrival.
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