Arsenal were heavily linked with a move for Dennis Praet during the summer before he moved to Leicester but they also tried to sign him a 10 years ago when he was just a teenager.
Along with Joachim Andersen, Arsenal were said to be very close to landing Praet this summer. Ultimately, however, the 25-year-old ended up signing for Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City where he has played 105 Premier League minutes so far this season across three games. He cost £18.9m.
But back when he was still a teen, and Arsene Wenger was still at the club, Arsenal made him an offer. He was even shown around the training ground by Liam Brady as the club tried to convince the then-15-year-old to move to London.
“I had three or four really good options,” Praet told the Guardian. “We went to visit Arsenal, Lille, Ajax and Anderlecht.
“Arsenal would have been a really nice step and I could earn a lot more money there than in Anderlecht, but at that moment my education was not finished and that was really important for me – there was no insurance that I would become a good football player.”
Praet ended up moving from Genk to Anderlecht where he remained for six years before his move to Sampdoria where he really caught the eye of the British press and other Premier League clubs despite only scoring our and assisting six in 106 games as a central midfielder.
His return at Anderlecht had been much better with 27 goals and 39 assists in 182 matches.
Joachim Andersen also left Sampdoria this summer, signing for Lyon for £21.6m.