Arsene Wenger has admitted that he was interested in signing Raphael Varane for Arsenal, before the French centre-back signed for Real Madrid.
Writing in his Europsport column, the Arsenal boss said he was happy to see the 19-year-old doing so well, but regrets that he is not playing for Arsenal.
He wrote: "I'm happy for him because he's carving out a role at one of the world's best clubs, which is remarkable.
"Yet at the same time, when you are in charge of a club like Arsenal, you have to wonder why this player is not playing for us. He was at Lens, and we might well have caught him there.
"It was a risk for Real Madrid to sign him at his age, but when you have such a talent, you can overcome everything.
"He has benefited from suspension to Sergio Ramos and injury to Pepe, but nevertheless Mourinho has chosen him to step in.
"His next challenge is to manage the increased media exposure on him, especially now he is in the French national side."