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Wenger Brands Striker ‘Crazy’ For Turning Down Arsenal
Arsene Wenger has branded Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘crazy’ for turning down the chance to trial with Arsenal when he was just 16-years-old.
It’s a famous story that haunts many Arsenal fans, as we came so close to signing the enigmatic Swede when he was a teenager.
Ibrahimovic came to north London as an unknown 16-year-old after Arsenal scouts spotted him in his native country and Arsene Wenger offered him the chance to train with the first team ahead of a potential permanent move.
Such trials are common place in football, as a manager can hardly be expected to sign a young player without first seeing how he copes mixing it with seasoned pro’s.
However, much to the amazement of the boss, Ibrahimovic turned down the opportunity, insisting he ‘doesn’t do auditions’. It was a bold move by the arrogant striker and the move collapsed, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Arsene has said Ibrahimovic’s response took him by surprise and his initial thoughts were that the youngster must be ‘crazy’, but he admits he sometimes has regrets at missing out the Swedish international.
“I said I hear you’re a good player and I invite you to train with the first-team to see how good you are. He replied that ‘I do not do auditions,’” Wenger revealed.
“I was shocked, I thought he must be crazy.
“I was the coach of Arsenal and he was 16-year-old. I regret it sometimes, but I knew nothing about him, but I had to see him.” [source: Daily Star]
Ibrahimovic has gone to become one of the best strikers in the world, winning titles at every club he joins, so he’s most certainly one of the best players we missed out on when we had the chance to sign them.