18-year-old striker Martin Graiciar has revealed why his Arsenal career never took off.

Graiciar spent 2015/16 at Arsenal where he played for a couple of the Gunners’ youth teams before signing for Fiorentina in 2017. However, the 18-year-old has now revealed why he didn’t continue with his career in north London.

“It’s one of the best clubs in the world,” he told Calcio Mercato.

“I arrived in London when I was 14-year-old. I played with the U18 team, the U20 and with Arsenal second team.

“After a few months of trails Wenger told me that I was an interesting player and that he thought he would have signed me on a permanent deal. In that moment, however, it was not possible for me because under the FIFA rules, a club can only sign a player after that he has turned 16.

“I waited for a year and a half but when the moment had come I got injured and I had to remain on the sidelines for more than one year. Arsenal had been following me after the injury but they didn’t sign me in the end.

“Now I am focused on Fiorentina. Everyone is very friendly at the club and I was left impressed by the clubs’ training facilities.”

The striker was obviously up for staying in north London but timing and circumstances prevented this from happening.

The Czech Republic u18 international is currently on loan in his home country at FC Slovan Liberec where he’s made four league appearances this season and scored twice.

Graiciar is just one example of the plethora of young talent Arsenal’s academy welcomes but either has to turn away because of timing or other issues. Sometimes, the player may not even want to stay at the club because they’re not fitting in or simply don’t see themselves progressing to the first team as quickly as they could elsewhere. It’s part of football.

Hopefully the teenager continues to progress on loan at Liberec and gets his wish to return to Fiorentina. Considering eight members of their main squad are 20 or under, I’d say he has a good chance if he’s good enough and continues to make an impression.