Young Guinean footballer Brem Soumaoro has revealed that Arsenal 'did everything' to sign him in 2011, only for visa issues to stop him completing his dream move.
Soumaoro, now 22, claims that he arrived in England as a 15-year-old midfielder and was invited to meet with the Gunners, but was told he 'could not enter the country' upon his arrival at a London airport.
Speaking to VoetbalZone (via Daily Cannon), Soumaoro recalls the reason the transfer failed to materialise:
“Arsenal did everything to get me in. We went to London, but when we landed, we were told we could not enter the country. I did not have a Dutch passport yet and therefore I could not get a visa in England.
"We tried to solve that in another way, but that didn’t work anymore. I had not thought about it myself either. My parents did not have Dutch passports, so I had to wait until my 18th birthday for my own passport and so the transfer to Arsenal did not take place."
With Soumaoro resigned to the fact a dream Premier League move would not be possible, he signed a pro-deal with FC Twente in Holland. He has since played for Go Ahead Eagles - also in the Eredivisie - and is now plying his trade in Italy with Livorno, who are currently rock bottom of Serie B.
Life could have been so different for the youngster had visa issues not played a part and the midfielder admitted that his chance was gone as Arsene Wenger and Arsenal never followed up their interest with a 'concrete' offer when he turned 18:
"My agent said that staff within the youth academy occasionally asked how I was, but there was no question of concrete interest." Soumaoro claimed.