Arsene Wenger refused to believe that Yaya Toure could become the next Patrick Vieira during his trial with Arsenal, reports the Daily Express.
The Arsenal manager claimed last week that not signing Toure was one of his biggest regrets in management but claims that the circumstances that saw him leave the club were out of his control.
Passport problems were apparently the only thing stopping the Ivory Coast international from joining him brother Kolo in north London in what would have represented a significant coup for Wenger.
Toure has gone on to star for Manchester City in the Premier League and has been the standout midfield player in England this season. 17 goals and a series of mountainous displays has earned him a huge £200,000-a-week deal and helped Manchester City to a significant title challenge.
It seems comical that one of the most renowned talent spotters in football would miss such ability when placed under his nose.
But according to the player himself, Wenger dismissed the idea of Toure emulating Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira, who was still a juggernaut of the game at the time.
Instead Wenger insisted that Toure looked more like a striker and claimed it was 'impossible' for Toure to reach the level of the French legend.
"When I was in Belgium, I went to Arsenal for a couple of months to give me some training and I remember my first chat I had with Arsene," Toure told City's official YouTube channel.
"He asked me, 'Which position do you want to play?' I said 'Midfielder.'
"He said, "Why? When I saw you training, for me, you looked more like a striker.'
"I said, 'That's why you always put me up front, move me, I want to play in midfield like Patrick (Vieira). I said 'I can play like Patrick, I can be better than Patrick' and he said 'No, no, it's impossible."
The irony is that Toure has come on to be every bit as good as Vieira in the heart of Manuel Pellegrini's midfield and has even developed an ability to bury free-kicks and is also a reliable penalty taker.
A commanding midfielder in the form of Toure could end up being the difference between Arsenal winning the Premier League and finishing fifth this season, making Wenger's error all the more costly.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms