Aaron Ramsey has lifted the lid on his decision to snub a move to Manchester United and join Arsenal back in 2008.
The Wales midfielder was one of the most-sought after young players in the British game when he broke through with Cardiff as a teenager and had his pick of some of the country’s top sides.
However, despite having the chance to move to Manchester United, Ramsey instead opted for a £4.8million move to Arsenal as a then-17-year-old.
United actually made the glaring mistake of announcing a deal with Ramsey, before the midfielder instead headed to London, with a club statement back in 2008 reading: “Manchester United is delighted to announce it has agreed terms with Cardiff City for the transfer of Aaron Ramsey subject to contract terms being agreed and the player passing a medical.”
But Ramsey, who supported United growing up, has admitted he had no hesitation over his decision to sign for the Gunners after meeting manager Arsene Wenger.
The midfielder has since established himself as a key member of Wenger’s first-team, winning two FA Cups and as many Community Shields in 271 appearances.
“I had to make a decision at the time [of signing for the club],” he told the club’s official website.
“I flew over to see the boss and I knew straight away that this was where I wanted to be, I wanted to be in his plans and I was just buzzing.
“I think I am a bit louder now than I was then!” he added. “You understand how things go on and off the pitch a bit better.
“It only seems like the other day that I was signing for Arsenal, but there has been eight years in between – so it goes before you notice really.”
Ramsey fitness issues
Ramsey has struggled for fitness this season, having been hampered by a persistent hamstring injury, but is finally back in first-team contention and came on as a substitute in the 1-1 derby draw with Tottenham on Sunday.
However, the player wasurged to quit Arsenal by former Wales coach Raymond Verheijen earlier this season.
Verheijen wrote on Twitter: “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger takes responsibility by admitting he rushed back Aaron Ramsey.”
“During EURO2016 Aaron Ramsey has proven his potential,” he posted.
“Arsene Wenger is not the only person who should become conscious incompetent. When will Aaron Ramsey finally stop gambling with his career?”