Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Raheem Sterling was never on his radar in the off-season, but admits he regrets not signing the Manchester City winger from QPR.
Sterling, 21, moved to Liverpool from QPR for £600,000 in 2010 before he broke through at Anfield and sealed a £49million transfer to Manchester City ahead of this season.
Wenger said Sterling was never a realistic transfer target for Arsenal in the off-season because of an abundance of talent in wide areas.
“We had many players on the flanks, but when Sterling was at QPR – that’s where we should take the players,” Wenger said.
“We watched him but you miss obvious players. The history of every club is full of top players that you missed.
“At the time Liverpool were quicker.”
Wenger will be watching Sterling at a much closer range come Monday, when the England international will turn out against his injury-hit Arsenal side.
Both teams are at the forefront of the Premier League title race, but sit behind surprise leaders Leicester City.