AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang has made public the fact that both Arsenal and Everton were close to signing him in the past, before he rejected both and opted to join AC Milan four years ago.
The 21-year-old, who operates as a centre forward but can also play on either wing, has seen his career stall mainly due to injuries and a lack of form having burst onto the scene as a highly-rated teenager a few seasons back.
The decision itself has proved a smart one for the forward, who has been capped 18 times at youth level for France. He potentially would’ve struggled acclimatising to life in England at such a young age and despite his development stalling, it’s likely regular criticism from media outlets about his disappointing performances would’ve also taken its toll on him psychologically.
He only managed to score 10 goals and create six assists across two seasons (2013-15) before showing his quality on a more regular basis last term for Milan (eight goals, five assists in all comps).
He has started the 2016/17 campaign off well, scoring twice and creating an assist for AC Milan in the Serie A, but when speaking to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, he revealed some interesting news about his past.
As quoted by SportWitness, Niang said the following when questioned: “I hope one day I move to the Premier League, and to play there is a dream of mine, the right football for my style of play.
“I had the opportunity to sign for Arsenal and Everton, when [Ligue 1 side] Caen had accepted offers from them, but I chose AC Milan.”
Niang also revealed he rejected the chance to join Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester side back in January, as he was eager not to be an understudy and he hasn’t looked back since. He’ll be hoping to maintain good form with the season fully underway, as Milan aim to get back amongst Europe’s elite once again after a topsy-turvy few years in Italy.