Sol Campbell admits he is at a loss to explain why mooted interest from Arsenal in N’Golo Kante never led to a successful transfer deal.
The former Gunners defender, who is now an ambassador for the club, claims Arsene Wenger came close to reaching an agreement in the past.
Kante has, however, been allowed to benefit the respective causes of Premier League rivals instead of that at Emirates Stadium, with Leicester tasting title success with the Frenchman at the heart of their side last season and Chelsea looking to do the same this term.
"It's a shame, a lot of the recruiting has disappointed me in some players," the former England international told WA Today.
"Missing out on Kante was a massive thing for me. I don't know what went on, why we didn't get him.
"I think it was all set and it's a shame because you see what he's done at Chelsea.
"Those kind of things hurt me as a player, that we were so close to getting those types of players and then they go elsewhere."
Wenger has admitted to missing out on several star performers down the years, with Arsenal either opting against making a move or being beaten to the punch.
Kante is now a prominent figure on that list, with the France international having shown himself to be one of the world’s best in a position that the Gunners have struggled in for a number of years – holding midfield.
That window of opportunity has, however, been closed and Arsenal will be turning their attention to the next, with it yet to be determined whether Wenger will be at the helm for another foray into the transfer market as his contract runs down and calls for his departure mount.