‘I wanted to go to Arsenal’: £10m Fulham player says he really wanted to sign for the Gunners

Arsene Wenger has umpteen stories about players he almost signed when he was at Arsenal, and now, you can add another one to that list. Indeed, Andreas Pereira has now gone on the record to share just how close he came to joining the Gunners.

The Brazilian midfielder is currently shining at Fulham after an £10m move from Manchester United, but before he joined the Red Devils, he had his eyes on joining Arsenal. Pereira shared this story on The American Dream Podcast with Tim Ream.

Pereira wanted to join Arsenal

The midfielder spoke about wanting to join Arsenal.

“It was really special. I was speaking with my dad and my head was on Arsenal, I wanted to go to Arsenal. I was a fan and I liked the way they played football. It was at the time that Wilshere was getting his first games and I got a shirt from Wilshere and I loved this shirt.” Pereira said.

“It came out that United were interested and I was always a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, and my Dad said ok let’s go and see how it is over there. In my head I was going to visit and my head was in Arsenal, but Sir Alex Ferguson came and said it was nice to meet me, and I was in shock, but it wasn’t just me, it was my Father, I never see him in shock with anyone and he didn’t know what to do or to say hi. He said to me ‘I always have a place for a Brazilian in my team, I saw you in the Nike Cup.’ And when he said that I was like ‘I’m staying here,  I don’t care about Arsenal, I love Ronaldo, I love Rooney, I love everyone,””

Better move

In hindsight, you can’t help but feel that Pereira would’ve been better off joining Arsenal at that moment in time.

Yes, Sir Alex could convince a fish that they don’t need water, but he’d be leaving Manchester United just two years after Pereira arrived, and from then on, the Red Devils have been incredibly unstable.

Meanwhile, if Pereira had joined Arsenal, he’d have had seven years working under Arsene Wenger, and who knows? Perhaps he would have kicked on and developed much quicker. Pereira is finally finding his Premier League feet with Fulham, but maybe he should’ve joined Arsenal back in 2011.

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