Belgium sensation Youri Tielemans has revealed he passed up the chance to join Arsenal – to play in front of 15,000 crowds for Monaco.
The midfield prodigy caught the eye of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, as well as Manchester United and top clubs across Europe, as he inspired Anderlecht to last season’s title.
Tielemans, 20, was crowned Belgian Player of the Year and was also named in last term’s Europa League squad of the season.
However the powerful ball-winner feared he would struggle to break into Wenger’s first team.
He instead joined Monaco in a £22million deal after the surprise French champions had their squad picked apart by predators during the summer.
The Brussels-born ace said: “I knew not much was going to change with Arsenal’s squad.
“Their management wanted to keep the same group of players together in order to finish high in the Premier League.
“I had to be honest with myself and take a look at the midfielders Arsenal have got. They are top-class players.
“I knew that I would not get many first-team chances with them, so I didn’t give any more thought to joining them.
“I never said no to any club. But I made it clear where I wanted to go.”
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