Tottenham Hotspur's new creative hub Christian Eriksen has revealed he twice had trials at Premier League rivals Chelsea, but decided to turn them down.
Andre Villas-Boas secured the £11.5million signing of Eriksen from Ajax late in the summer transfer window, but he has been sidelined for the past week since picking up an ankle injury on international duty - just as he was getting settled into Spurs' starting line-up.
Eriksen was a crucial member of the Ajax first team for a number of years before his switch to White Hart Lane, but it could all have been different if he had decided to choose Chelsea as a youngster.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the 21-year-old told of how he was given the chance to train with the Blues while he was a promising young talent with Odense in Denmark.
Joining Tottenham may have been unlikely if Eriksen had opted for Chelsea, but the Stamford Bridge club were not the only ones to be turned down for his eventual choice of Ajax, Barcelona and AC Milan also received a snub.
“I came to Chelsea, the first time at 14, a little kid. I went to Chelsea a second time, and AC Milan and Barca," he said.
"We talked with the sports director at Odense and all thought that the Dutch league would be the best with my style. Of course when you mean Dutch you mean Ajax. When Ajax came in it was ‘boom’, right away."