Matthew Connolly is a England youth international and is reputed to have a great future ahead of him. He is actually a graduate of the Arsenal academy. Yet he opted to shun the glamour of the Emirates and switched to Championship side QPR this January.
But why? Connolly reasons:
It’s very difficult to make the breakthrough at clubs like Arsenal so when QPR made an offer I knew it was the right time to move on. I could have signed for Arsenal again. I spoke to Arsene Wenger and he said he wanted me to stay. I thought about it for a while but I felt it was the right time to go. I looked at the players who have not made it there like David Bentley and Steve Sidwell. They have made good careers for themselves, so that was what inspired me to come here. I wanted to come to a club that is going forward. Arsenal provided me with a launchpad, but I needed to be playing first team football.
Now this trend of players leaving top clubs to play at a lower club to gain first team football is becoming common nowadays. Does this mean that these young players are not good enough to make the first team of the bigger Premiership clubs or does this imply that the clubs wouldn’t give them a chance. Let the jury feast on this one.