Arsenal turned down the chance to sign David Silva from Valencia in 2005 over fears that he wasn’t physical enough, according to reports.
The Daily Mail report that Arsenal scout, Francis Cagagio, responsible for the signings of Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerín, also identified Silva as a possible recruit 12 years ago.
However, with the strength of the Gunners’ options at the time (including Fabregas himself, who had recently signed), and fears that Silva would struggle with the Premier League’s physicality, Arsenal turned him down.
Obviously, this story has come to light just in time for the match between the two sides.
I have no doubt that decisions on young players like this one are discovered all the time, but are held back until the stories can make the biggest media impact.
At the time, Silva hadn’t even done enough to convince his own club to take a chance on him, as Valencia loaned him out to Celta Vigo.
Personally, I think it would be a little harsh to hold it against the Gunners that Silva went on to develop into a player Manchester City were willing to sign five years later.
But, unfortunately, he goes down as yet another top player that Arsenal just missed out on.