Why Arsenal are LUCKY Euro 2024 flop snubbed summer transfer

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 2 Jul 2024 05:00 CDT
  • 4 min read
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

When Benjamin Sesko raced through on goal in the 115th minute against Portugal, time almost stood still.

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A tiring Pepe somehow got his feet muddled up and Sesko was suddenly presented with the chance to almost guarantee his nation’s place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024.

With Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa stepping up to the penalty spot, Sesko opted to shoot early and his outside-the-box effort was expertly saved by the Porto’s star outstretched left leg.

READ MORE: Premier League summer transfers 2024 - All the Done Deals

20 minutes later, Costa had saved all three of Slovenia’s penalties in the shootout and Portugal were through.

While Sesko isn’t to blame for Slovenia’s exit, he had the chance to book their place in the next round, and he missed.

The RB Leipzig star fed on relative scraps during the group stage - amassing just 0.52xG in three games - but things were different against Portugal.

READ MORE: Euro 2024 top scorers

Before the glaring miss late in extra-time, Sesko had already spurned a glorious chance by dragging a left-footed shot well wide of Costa’s left-hand post.

The 115th minute effort, however, was far worse.

Rounding Costa was certainly an option, but Sesko decided to shoot early and he was denied by one of the world’s most promising young shot-stoppers.

One miss certainly isn’t enough to disregard a player’s quality, but it was further evidence that Sesko remains extremely raw.

Benjamin Sesko to stay at RB Leipzig

Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for the Slovenian before he signed a new contract at Leipzig, with the Gunners touted to pay €65 million for his services.

However, Sesko snubbed interest from Mikel Arteta’s side to pen a new deal in Germany. Right now, all parties will be satisfied with that decision.

Sesko is a sublime talent and he could become one of the world’s very best strikers - as shown by his promising tally of 18 goals in his debut Leipzig season - but he is far from the finished article and another season in Germany is best for his development.

Benjamin Sesko, RB Leipzig
© IMAGO - Benjamin Sesko, RB Leipzig

Although it looked like a major blow for Arsenal at the time, Sesko signing a new deal at Leipzig may have been best for all involved parties.

Arsenal need a proven performer if they are to overthrow Manchester City and Sesko doesn’t currently fit that brief.

Furthermore, he will be given the chance to work on his game away from the Premier League spotlight and this could prove to be a masterstroke in a few years time.

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