Australian keeper, Andrew Redmayne, has revealed he was on the verge of signing for Arsenal when they opted to sign Wojciech Szczesny instead, shattering his dreams of playing for the Gunners.
Impressing the Arsenal hierarchy when he was just 16 after keeping a cleansheet for NSW Institute as they pulled off a shock win against Arsenal’s youngsters, the club extended an invitation to him to come for an official trial.
“It was the last year at Highbury so there was a bit of a buzz around. It was just fantastic being among the first team and the facilities,” Redmayne said.
“We went into [Arsenal academy director] Liam Brady’s office and he said he was prepared to offer something to me and mum, which made my heart sink. We said we would think about schooling and how it would all work out.”
But just days before he was due to arrive at Arsenal, after already having made arrangements for the move, keeping in contact with Brady and having been invited to play in a seven-a-side tournament in Hong Kong that was to be his final trial, Arsenal “…replied saying, ‘We just signed a young goalkeeper so we can’t have nine goalkeepers for three squads so your services are no longer required,’ and so on.
“You wonder what could have been.
“You sometimes think ‘what if?’, but I guess it’s a learning experience.
“I never followed an EPL team but after that experience I became a pretty big Arsenal fan.”
That goalkeeper was a then-15-year-old Wojciech Szczesny.
Redmayne now plays for Western Sydney Wanderers, one of Arsenal’s opponents on their 2017 Australia tour. He signed for the club in 2015. He is now 27.
Woj’s Arsenal future is still somewhat in the air as Arsenal and Roma play the most boring game of transfer window in the history of the sport. Arsenal are said to want a deal which includes an obligation to buy but the Romans are more interested with just a loan.
Nobody knows how true any of this is, all we do know is that it is boooooooooorrrrrrrrrinnnnnnnnnng.