Morocco left-back Hamza Mendyl says he was in talks with Arsenal this summer but joined Schalke instead after failing to obtain a British work permit.
Mendyl signed for Schalke from Lille last week, but had been linked with a late move to the Emirates after left-back Sead Kolasinac suffered a long-term injury.
And the 20-year-old defender confirmed that only a work permit prevented him from moving to England.
"It's true: I was in talks with Arsenal and Newcastle. But as a Moroccan citizen it's not that easy to obtain a work permit. I would have trusted myself to play Premier League," Mendy said, as reported by kicker.
Arsenal had to start the season with midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles playing at left-back against Manchester City.
He was then replaced by right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner after fracturing his leg in the 2-0 loss.
The Gunners now only have Nacho Monreal as a senior left-back option, with Kolasinac ruled out for up to eight more weeks.