French winger turns down opportunity to replace Gervinho at Arsenal

French playmaker Dimitri Payet has officially moved to Olympique Marseille from Lille on Wednesday, French newspaper LeProgress reported. The Marseille club did not reveal the exact amount of the transfer, but have evidently managed to outbid Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s gaffer, who was chasing Payet as well.

The deal for the 26-year-old Frenchman, who topped the assists table with 12 in last year’s Ligue 1, represents a major coup for Marseille, who lost out to PSG in the quest for the title last season.

Capable of playing both centrally and on the wing, Payet’s versatility is perhaps what resulted in Wenger believing he would be a good fit at the London club. Payet’s impressive dribbling skills, ability to stretch the play and send reliable crosses in would have represented an upgrade on Gervinho, and perhaps even Walcott, in Wenger’s roster next season.

However, Wenger’s reticence to pay substantial amounts for the targets he identifies has often resulted in him losing out on talented players, and Payet has only perpetuated this ‘phenomenon.’ Arsenal’s fans will, understandably, be upset, and Wenger will surely turn his attention towards other targets now. Another Frenchman possibly? Grenier or Valbuena to the Emirates, maybe?

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