Is Diego Maradona About To Sign For Arsenal On This Day, 22nd March 1982

Desperate times call for desperate measures. This was not the first time in 1982 that Arsenal were linked with an outstanding talent of the generation, Michel Platini had also been the subject of speculation as he was about to leave St Etienne. He went to Juventus instead.

With the Falklands Crisis erupting eleven days later, even if Arsenal had been his preferred destination it seems unlikely that Diego Armando Maradona would ever have graced the Highbury turf. As it was, he arrived at the Camp Nou where he was unceremoniously kicked from pillar to post by Spanish defenders, making just 36 appearances in the period 1982-84.

Funding the deal via sponsorship was not unusual. Arsenal had ventured down this path in the 1970s when heavily linked with purchasing Johan Cruyff, Coca-Cola rumoured to have been lined up to make a substantial contribution to his wages. That deal never materialised either although the club were closer to signing Johan Neeskens before he moved to New York Cosmos.

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