Arsenal, under French manager – Arsene Wenger has seen the club grace the careers of great players, whose coming from various parts of the world – have gone on to become legends of the club today.
However, Wenger’s 18-year reign at the helm of affairs at Arsenal has also seen the club miss out on other world class stars, with Le Prof himself admitting to a few despite having the upper hand in snapping them up in the past.
Now, PSG mega-star Zlatan Ibrahimovich has said that he was never close to joining Arsenal.
The Swede International in a interview with the Guardian revealed that though he was invited to Highbury in 2000 by Wenger, he would not sign for Arsenal as he felt he was not trusted enough.
Zlatan, in debunking Wenger’s assertion that the deal couldn’t happen due to a misunderstanding, said:
“Today, Wenger says it was a misunderstanding. But I didn’t like being asked to prove myself”
“I know I’m good enough. I don’t need to show it to you. Either you know who I am or you don’t”
“I remember being in Wenger’s office and you could tell he was the boss”
“But I don’t think I was so close [to joining Arsenal]. I went to Ajax the next day”.
Wenger has aired his regrets at missing out on certain players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba the stand out names. Ibrahimovich and Yaya Toure are amongst the biggest players who have had trials in Arsenal but were not signed for reasons not exactly known. Ibra even had his own name printed on the back of a Number 9 jersey but the trial put him off from further negotiations.
Zlatan went on to add that he would not play in the Premier League, as he was content with the Leagues in which he has travelled. As at the time of his trial, he was still at Malmo in his home country, but has gone on to play for Ajax, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and now captain at PSG. Moreso, he has won the League in every club he has appeared for, being the only player to have scored for six different clubs in the Champions League.
Perhaps in a swipe at Wenger, Zlatan expressed his admiration for his boss while he was at Inter (dare not mention his name!), claiming he had his way of, not manipulating, but getting his players pumped up for any given game.
More accounts of Zlatan’s story about the Arsenal deal, as well as Ferraris and Fiats could be found in his autobiography, ‘I am Zlatan’.
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