Arsenal reportedly want a player Unai Emery once sold for just £5m

Unai Emery the head coach

Emery flogged Valencia starlet Isco in 2011 and, almost a decade on, could the Real Madrid star be on his way to the Premier League with the Gunners?

Isco of Real Madrid during the La Liga Santander  match between Osasuna v Real Madrid on February 9, 2020

Seeing Isco sat on the bench, glum-faced and dressed head-to-toe in a tracksuit, is like trying to use South Eastern rail’s famously iffy Wi-Fi to stream Pulp Fiction. It does a work of art one hell of a disservice.

And with one of the game’s most aestheticly-pleasing play-makers becoming increasingly seldom-seen at the Santiago Bernabau, football purists everywhere would welcome the idea of Isco packing his bags and feeling Real Madrid at the earliest opportunity.

According to El Desmarque, the four-time Champions League winner could be about to bring his unique interpretation of the number ten role to England this summer. Arsenal are interested, so to are Chelsea and Manchester City.

And, ironically enough, it was a former Gunners boss who gave Isco his big-break - before cashing in on him just months later.


Back in November 2010, ahead of Valencia’s Copa del Rey clash against lower-league Logrones, a teenage Isco waddled onto the pitch for the first time. 90 minutes later, he had his first two goals in senior football.

Emery, as Arsenal fans know, is a tough man to please – especially if you are something of a ‘luxury player’ like Isco. Or, for that matter, Mesut Ozil.

As reported by Marca, Emery was behind Valencia’s decision to sell a fresh-faced Isco to Malaga in 2011 for a fee of just £5 million. A coach who values the collective over the individual apparently felt he could not rely on a player who, while hardly the hardest working player in world football, is a joy to watch at his mesmerising best.

Anderson of Manchester United clashes with Isco of Valencia during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester United and Valencia at Old Trafford on December 7, 2010 in...

Since replacing Emery in the Emirates dugout last Autumn, Mikel Arteta has found a way to shoehorn Ozil into his starting XI, while ensuring that Arsenal’s organisation and shape off the ball is not completely compromised.

And, in Isco, Arteta might just find the creative kingpin who could have Gunners fans dreaming of glory again.

Isco Alarcon of Real Madrid CF runs with the ball during the Liga match between CA Osasuna and Real Madrid CF at El Sadar Stadium on February 09, 2020 in Pamplona, Spain.

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