Goran Milosavljevic has revealed a number of players he recommended to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, without much success.
Speaking in The Chester Chronicle, Milosavljevic recalled his 15 years working at Arsenal alongside the club’s longest serving manager, and the players the club missed out on during that period.
The first of those he recommended, only to watch them sign for another Premier League club, was Nemanja Vidic. Milosavljevic admits that it was always going to be difficult convincing Arsenal to sign the defender before the scout built himself a reputation in North London.
“I had worked with Arsenal closely for 15 years when Arsene Wenger was there,” said Milosavljevic. “Early on it took time to get people to trust you with players. I remember in 2005 with Nemanja Vidic when he was playing for Spartak Moscow.
“I told Arsenal that he is a quality player and someone that they should sign. I had known him since he had been playing for Red Star Belgrade.
“But they didn’t trust my judgement on the player and nothing happened and he ended up signing for Manchester United a year later. He could have ended up playing for Arsenal if they would have trusted me on that one.”
Milosavljevic went on to reveal two more players he recommended to Wenger. Luka Milivojevic, who currently plays for Crystal Palace, and Stevan Jovetic, who spent a few years with Manchester City.
“Luka Milivojevic is another player who I recommended,” he continued. “I started working with him at a young age, around 12, and then seriously when he was about 15. He has gone on to play for Crystal Palace and is doing well in the Premier League. He is one of their top players.
“Another player I saw very early was Stevan Jovetic when he was with Partizan. He has gone on to play for Fiorentina, Manchester City and Inter Milan.”
Should Arsenal have listened?
Jovetic’s career has never quite returned to the level he reached at Fiorentina, since he left for Manchester City and the Premier League. Perhaps he just wasn’t cut out for English football, so I don’t think too many Arsenal fans will be losing sleep over missing out on the striker.
Similarly, Luka Milivojevic is one of Crystal Palace’s top players, but that doesn’t mean he could cut it at Arsenal.
Vidic could’ve made a big difference to the Gunners though, given how much he helped Manchester United to Premier League success. Unfortunately he’s just another one that got away.