Back in 2010 the then 20-year-old Senegalese defender/midfielder Serigne Kara Mbodj was attracting plenty of interest from across the continent.
The imposing player was a product of the Patrick Vieira founded Diambars Football Academy in his homeland before moving to Norway in February of that season.
His impressive start to life in Norway certainly did not go unnoticed with Lee Dixon touting him to be the Patrick Vieira in midfield alongside Jack Wilshere at Arsenal while former Tromso player Steiner Nilsen claimed he was the best combative midfield player he had ever seen.
Indeed anyone who is frequenter of footballing platform games will know of his supreme talent at that level very well.
So could this deal come to light now?
‘’I can confirm that there is an interest in Kara Mbodj from Arsenal. Arsenal followed Kara on several occasions and his performances on the pitch have always been good. A bid would be interesting. Norwegian football is facing financial problems and Tromsø would be interested in the sale.’’
Again in 2010 Kara himself spoke of the interest from Arsenal:
“I know that Arsenal were here, but I try to shut that out in a game situation. I do not know what it is yet, but it is possible I will be in conversation afterwards.”
He was valued at around £3 million at that point; a valuation that fluctuated throughout the years.
So why does a move now seem so unlikely?
Well Kara is no longer with Tromso. In January he decided to make the move to Genk to continue his footballing development; which in fairness had stalled over the past 18 months.
His eye-catching form was no more and while he was not necessarily performing badly there was little doubt he was not of the class necessary to do a job at a team like Arsenal.
That issue has continued in Belgium. Since completing his move to Genk he has played just three games; getting a full 90 minutes just once in February. His other two games were both in the cup. He came off the bench against Zulte Waregem and then found himself sent off in a defeat to Anderlecht after bundling over former Liverpool player Milan Jovanovic when he had an open goal.
Now the Senegalese powerhouse is spending most of his time sitting on the bench dreaming of The Emirates.
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