Schalke's Hamza Mendyl

Morocco left-back Hamza Mendyl says he was in talks with Arsenal this summer but joined Schalke instead after failing to obtain a British work permit.

Mendyl signed for Schalke from Lille last week, but had been linked with a late move to the Emirates after left-back Sead Kolasinac suffered a long-term injury.

And the 20-year-old defender confirmed that only a work permit prevented him from moving to England.

“It’s true: I was in talks with Arsenal and Newcastle. But as a Moroccan citizen it’s not that easy to obtain a work permit. I would have trusted myself to play Premier League,” Mendy said, as reported by kicker.

Arsenal had to start the season with midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles playing at left-back against Manchester City.

He was then replaced by right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner after fracturing his leg in the 2-0 loss.

The Gunners now only have Nacho Monreal as a senior left-back option, with Kolasinac ruled out for up to eight more weeks.

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