West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jerome Thomas admits he sometimes wonders what might have been, and says there is a chance he could still have been an Arsenal player today.
As the Baggies prepare to welcome Arsene Wenger’s side to the Hawthorns stadium this weekend, Thomas told his current club’s official website:
"A game against Arsenal is always a bit extra special for me. It's my old club and the club where I learnt my trade - it's always nice to play your old club."
Having turned down a one-year contract extension at the age of 20, Thomas opted to join Charlton in 2004, eager to get some first-team football under his belt.
"I don't live with regrets. When I left Arsenal it was my choice, so there aren’t any hard feelings at all.
"I was offered a new one-year deal and I decided to move on because I couldn't be promised first-team football or even to train with the first-team at the time."
Thomas makes no secret of the fact that he is still an Arsenal fan at heart, and as such he still holds the North London club in high esteem.
His Gunners grounding under Wenger and the rest of the Arsenal staff has played a large part in getting him where he is today.
And Thomas is hoping to have as big an impact on this weekend's proceedings as he did the last time the two sides met, when the Baggies sealed a memorable 3-2 win at the Emirates, with the 28-year-old winger getting on the scoresheet.
Arsenal will want to build momentum in their continued assault on the Barclays Premier League title, and will be looking for three points this weekend, but Thomas and West Brom will do everything they can to take the points themselves.