The S*n are running a big headline today that claims “Ex-Arsenal kid Ismail H’Maidat jailed for string of armed robberies despite earning £9k a month” but you’ll probably not be surprised to hear it’s a load of balls.
When I saw this headline initially, I wondered just how few youth games H’Maidat had played for Arsenal as his name was not familiar at all.
It turns out that magic number is zero, at least officially.
There is the possibility that he played for the reserves and was listed as A. Trialist, but for the record, he simply trialled with Arsenal before signing for Crystal Palace, as the S*n’s own article points out:
It’s like calling Zlatan Ibrahimovic a ‘former Arsenal youngster’ because he once trialled with the club, too.
H’Maidat has certainly found himself at a number of clubs despite still only being 23. FC Twente, Genk, Anderlecht, Brescia, Roma, Ascoli, and Vicenza are just some of the names in his back catalogue as his Wikipedia page demonstrates:
As you’ll notice from the image above, the one team not listed is ‘Arsenal’. That’s because he never played for us. He never signed so was never on our books and never an Arsenal player.
Whatever has happened in his life to lead him down the path to an armed robbery conviction, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Arsenal.