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Chelsea new boy Samuel Eto’o has revealed that he very nearly signed for Arsenal…back in the year 2000, the Mirror reports.
The 32-year-old claims he came within hours of joining Arsene Wenger’s men but performed a dramatic U-turn at the last minute that would take his career on a completely different trajectory.
Eto’o was convinced to reject the Gunners by former Spanish national team boss Luis Aragones, who persuaded him to join Real Mallorca on the very day he was supposed to be signing a contract with Arsenal.
“I met Luis at a crucial moment in my life where I had to take the right direction – and thanks to him I did,” he told The Sun.
“I was about to sign that very afternoon at Arsenal and maybe I would have never been the player I am today. Luis picked me, then I ended up joining Barcelona.
“That decision changed everything.”
Eto’o spent four years in Mallorca before joining Barcelona in 2004, where he enjoyed the most successful and productive spell of his career, winning three La Liga titles and the Champions League twice.
He then spent two years with Serie A giants Inter Milan where he continued his great success, winning an historic treble with the Italian giants in 2010.
He moved to Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in 2011 but put an end to his stint there this summer when he joined Chelsea.