It might have been north London for Joachim Andersen but it turned out to be west London instead.
A year ago, Arsenal were reported to have submitted a £44m joint bid to Sampdoria for both the Dane and Dennis Praet.
The Serie A club’s president Massimo Ferrero was ready to accept having knocked back a £37m offer from the Gunners, but Unai Emery cooled on the deal, allowing Andersen to move to Lyon instead.
The Gunners soon cooled on Emery.
When Andersen signed a five-year contract with Lyon, the 30 million euros fee was not only the French side’s Lyon’s record transfer – it was also a record transfer fee for any Danish player.
Andersen is considered a great ball-playing defender with the ability to play both right and left of central defence and even defensive midfield.
In 2018-19, Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozović was the only player in Serie A with more accurate long passes than Andersen.
Considering his tendency to launch long balls, Andersen’s overall pass accuracy rate of 88.8% is impressive.
He’s come a long way since once nicking a crate of Coca-Cola – and getting an almighty rocket from his dad.
As a 15-year-old, Andersen was at FC Midtjyllands in his native Denmark.
For a prank, he and another junior player saw an unguarded crate of America’s favourites soda languishing by an open kitchen door, and decided to distribute it to their team-mates by way of an early Christmas present.
Unfortunately, there CCTV was in action; the pair were spotted, and they got sent home early.
Andersen’s dad, Jacob, asked his son whether he wanted to: ‘work at McDonald’s and go into town, drink beers, and score ladies or give 100% to football?”
Andersen junior was smart enough to opt for the latter.