Despite leaving Arsenal in 2017 and supporting another club as a child, ex-academy midfielder Josh Dasilva wishes nothing but the best for his old team.
A couple of years ago, Josh Dasilva turned down a contract extension with Arsenal to leave at the end of his deal with the club, joining Brentford. He had a great season with the u23s the previous year, but he wanted senior football Arsenal couldn’t offer.
The club gave him his debut that campaign, and three appearances in total, but all from the bench. Understandably, Dasilva believed he was making the right decision for his career by leaving. Still, he admits it wasn’t an easy call to make.
“It was very emotional,” Dasilva said. “I wanted to play for Arsenal for the rest of my life, but I had to do what was best for my career. I felt like I was ready to go and play men’s football. It’s not easy, but there were better opportunities and I believed in myself.”
In his interview with the Independent this week, Dasilva then talked about the day he made his senior debut for Arsenal in 2017.
“Throughout all those years, that was always the objective: to play for Arsenal,” the midfielder recalled. “I still feel privileged to say I have.
“My family were sitting up in a box in tears because that was the dream, all the hard work, all the dedication, all the picking up and dropping me off, missing work, everything came to that moment. The shirt is still framed up at my mum’s. We’ll cherish it forever.
“I didn’t support Arsenal as a kid but now I want them to win every single game because they did so much for me. I owe them a lot.”
How is Dasilva’s season going?
By all accounts, things are going very well for the 21-year-old. He has six goals and three assists in 27 games despite his deep role in midfield, earning plenty of praise from the fans.
Dasilva got a nomination for Championship Player of the Month in November. He scored his first career hat-trick against Luton Town. He’s starting every league game for Brentford as they race up the table to sit fifth, in the playoff places.
As things stand, Brentford are actually only six points off West Brom and automatic promotion. The Baggies only have two points in their last five games versus Brentford’s seven. Maybe Dasilva could return to the top flight before long.