• Premier League

Wenger admits Zlatan got away

ESPN staff
November 16, 2012

Arsene Wenger has admitted that he passed up the chance to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic because the striker refused to undergo a trial at Arsenal.

Ibrahimovic was extremely highly rated as a teenager and came across Wennger's radar 15 years ago. The Swede was invited to London, visited Arsenal's facilities and a deal was in the pipeline, but he left after being informed he would need to take a trial.

He promptly signed for Ajax and has gone on to command £150m in transfer fees and his stock is at an all-time high following his wonder-goal against England.

"He came here to visit the training ground," Wenger told the club's official website. "He didn't want to make a trial because he was 16 years old at the time. He went home and we concluded to watch him again.

The Gunners boss added: "I wanted to see him in training but it didn't stop him from making a great career. In the end, he chose to go to Ajax Amsterdam. That happens. He's not the only one in that case.

"The confidence he shows... if a performance isn't there you can say you don't agree with it, but when a performance is there, you think his confidence is justified. Through his career, he has justified why he believes in his own talent."

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