How Arsenal missed out on signing Sancho, Bellingham and Pulisic

The list of Arsenal’s transfer near-misses is a long and frustrating one for Gunners fans.

Over the years, there has been a number of high-profile players that could have made the move to north London, before bursting onto the scene elsehwere.

Legendary former boss Arsene Wenger has outlined how during his time, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could have all joined the club had things gone slightly differently.

And Arsenal ’s ex-head of youth recruitment has now added three more names to the mix.

Steve Morrow, who left the role in 2019, was the man tasked with deciding which promising talents to bring into the set-up at London Colney.

In his almost-decade at the club, he outlined how Arsenal missed out on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho not once, but on two separate occasions.

“Every top club will say there were near misses and Jadon Sancho was certainly one of those,” Morrow told Goal.

“We missed out on him once when he moved from Watford and went up to Manchester City, and then again when he reached that age at City when young players have a choice to make.

“Jadon felt that his future was away from Manchester and we were very, very close to signing him, but the family felt at the time that the best opportunity for him was at Dortmund and off he went.”

Sancho’s Dortmund teammate Jude Bellingham was another that could have made the switch to the Emirates, with Morrow suggesting they were ‘very close’ to sealing a deal for the England international during his time with Birmingham City.

Morrow added: “There have been others. Jude Bellingham was another one that was very similar to that.

“When he came to the end of his contract at Birmingham and was debating whether to stay there and sign a scholarship or move somewhere else, we were very close to that one as well.

“But sometimes it just doesn’t happen and you have to accept it.”

To add even more salt in the wounds, Morrow has claimed that Chelsea star Christian Pulisic went as far as to have a trial as a youngster, only to ultimately make the decision to join Dortmund.

“Through our connections in the States, Christian was one that I actually had over at London Colney as a 14-year-old,” he explained. “He came in and did quite well, but he was small and underdeveloped physically when he came to us.

“I did see his potential but he was certainly behind physically in terms of the same age group with our boys.

“I wanted to bring him back again, but it just didn’t work out and he went to Germany unfortunately.”

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