Former Arsenal midfielder admits leaving was 'hardest' decision

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Edward Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Josh Dasilva and Reiss Nelson after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League 2 match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on April 20, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Edward Nketiah of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Josh Dasilva and Reiss Nelson after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League 2 match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on April 20, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Josh Dasilva has given his first interview after signing for Brentford on a four-year deal.

The youngster was released by Arsenal in the summer when he saw there was no clear route for him into the first team and Dasilva seems excited to join Brentford where he will play alongside another former Arsenal youngster in Nico Yennaris.

So was it hard to leave Arsenal? “Yeah it was the hardest,” he said, “but I feel that it was the best thing for my career the main thing is progression, playing. I’m happy to be here.

“There’s no rush, I’m still young and have got a lot to improve on. I’m just taking things as they come.

Asked about his position, he said, “I’m a central midfielder, box-to-box. I like to get forward, like to defend Just to work on maybe my weaker foot, heading, things I can improve on. My whole game I can improve on, I’m not the finished article.”

He also spoke about being coached by Thierry Henry and how the Frenchman helped his game. “Him being a striker, he played with great midfielders. He helped me in terms of getting the basics right, it progressed my game and I improved a lot.”

Brentford announced the move on Tuesday morning, confirming that Dasilva will join the club on an initial four-year contract, with the option to extend for a further year. The club will pay Arsenal a training compensation fee, given the player’s age, but won’t have to pay a full transfer fee as he was out of contract.

Dasilva turned down a contract extension from Arsenal earlier in the summer, and was confirmed as being off the club’s books when he was left out of the youth squad list in the Manchester City matchday programme.

It’s a shame to lose the 19-year-old, because he was starting to take on a key role for the u23s last season. He captained the team on a number of occasions and was regularly involved in the build-up play, even if he didn’t often get in the goals or assists.

Arsene Wenger gave the youngster his first-team debut, but he’s clearly looking for more regular senior chances now.

Brentford Co-Director of Football Phil Giles confirmed this, telling the club website: “Josh elected not to sign the new contract offered to him by Arsenal, which shows he understands the importance of starting to play regular First Team football.”

Good luck to Josh with the next stage of his career!