Wilson Palacios signed for Tottenham for £12million last week, just 18 months after Arsene Wenger had the Honduran midfielder on trial at Arsenal.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, against all the football odds, beat off competition from mega-bucks Man City to bolster his squad with the 24-year-old, whose all-action style has taken the Premier League by storm this season, but I can’t help think that Wenger missed a trick.
It’s ironic that Wenger, who allowed Palacios to slip through the net, could probably now do with a player in the mould of Palacios.
With Gilberto and Mathieu Flamini gone and Cesc Fabregas injured, Wenger might just be kicking himself that he didn’t take a punt on the player who would have cost a fraction of the price he cost Spurs.
Wenger in fact recommended Palacios to Birmingham and Blues boss Steve Bruce immediately took him on loan. Bruce then made the switch to Wigan and wasted no time in dragging Palacios along with him for an undisclosed fee – probably leaving Blues boss Alex McLeish also kicking himself at allowing Palacios to escape his clutches as well.
Steve Bruce has no doubt that Wilson Palacios will become one of the best midfielders in the world in a few years time. “Wilson has come from nowhere to being one of the best midfield players in the country. When we played Manchester United at Old Trafford, it didn’t phase him at all and at his age he can only get better.”
But Bruce has admitted the powerful midfielder, who became a huge hit at The JJB, was never his first choice.
“I was trying to sign Mathieu Flamini from Arsenal for £3.5million and was sitting in his flat, hoping to talk him into joining Birmingham,” said Bruce. “Flamini decided he wanted to give it one more go at Arsenal and Arsene Wenger told me to take a look at Palacios instead.”
It was a deal that certainly worked in Bruce’s favour, while Flamini I’m sure will look back and be thankful he stayed at Arsenal with his form at The Emirates ultimately securing him a lucrative move to AC Milan last summer.
However you can’t help thinking that Arsenal finished up with a roar deal.
By Phil Tomlinson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football and football betting.