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Wenger admits Zlatan got away

ESPN staff
November 16, 2012 « Watch GSP v Condit post-fight press conference live at 6am | Chartbeat test »

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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