Yaya: I always wanted to join Arsenal

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Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has revealed his regret at failing to sign for Arsenal, calling it a "missed appointment" in his career. reports

At the tender age of 20, the Ivorian international midfielder was handed a trial in north London back in 2003, and featured in a pre-season friendly for the Gunners, a goalless draw against Barnet.

Toure failed to impress that day, and so Arsene Wenger passed up the opportunity to sign him - a decision that both parties would later regret.

"For me, England was the country of rhythm, speed, commitment and beautiful game, a country for me," Toure, now 28, told L'Equipe. "But I always wanted to go to Arsenal.

"This is the missed appointment in my career. It was a great disappointment."

The African ace struggled to obtain a work permit in his early career, which also played a part in preventing him from a move to a Barclays Premier League club.

Toure also spoke of his frustration at joining Metalurh Donetsk, rather than Paris Saint-Germain, from Belgian side Beveren back in 2003.

"There was a proposal from PSG, but it was not done because PSG would pay in several times," he explained. "Donetsk paid in one [so] I had to accept.

"I was young and I wanted to try another challenge. I had a test at Arsenal, but I have not had the opportunity to go there because I could not get work permits."

Moves to Olympiacos, Monaco, and Barcelona followed, before Toure finally realised his dream of playing in England when Manchester City came calling in 2010, paying around £24million to bring him to the Etihad Stadium.

But Toure will never forget his dream of turning out for Arsenal, playing alongside his brother Kolo, and working under the stewardship of the world-renowned Wenger.

"[In 2006] Lyon was manifested, but I dreamed of signing for Arsenal to rejoin my brother Kolo and Arsene Wenger. But it did not, and I landed in Monaco."

Manchester City
Premier League

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