Lucas Torreira was not Unai Emerys first choice to strengthen in central midfield last summer with the Spaniard keen on France star Steven Nzonzi instead.
The Uruguayan joined the club from Sampdoria in a deal worth around £22million and he became a popular figure during an impressive debut campaign at the Emirates last term.
Torreiras tenacity has won over the bulk of Arsenals support but Emery had concerns about his height, frame and physical capabilities.
Instead, claim the Athletic, Emery wanted to sign Nzonzi as hed worked with him at Sevilla and was positive that the Frenchmans previous experience in the Premier League would help him settle quicker.
However, Nzonzi is seven years Torreiras senior and the Frenchman would have had little sell-on value.
Instead, Arsenals recruitment team pitched a persuasive argument to Emery to convince him to sign Torreira and he conceded that it was the correct decision.