Arsenal should have signed USA international Michael Bradley last January instead of Kim Kallstrom, according to the midfielder's father, Bob. The former USA head coach feels his son was the victim of bias among European clubs against American players.
Michael Bradley secured a move to MLS side Toronto FC from AS Roma in January - but his dad believes Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signed the wrong man in Sweden international Kallstrom.
"I think American players and coaches have to fight really hard for respect," Bob Bradley told Slate.com. "In January, Arsenal were looking to add a midfielder and they chose Kim Kallstrom.
"Kim Kallstrom's not a bad player, but I think Michael feels pretty strongly that he's better, and so Arsene Wenger must not feel that way, and [Arsenal chief executive] Ivan Gazidis must not feel that way.
"So sometimes, no matter what you do, you don't get the respect you think you deserve."
Bradley turns 27 next month and is widely regarded as one of the best American players of his generation. Wenger needed a solid midfielder, but opted for the experienced 31-year-old Kallstrom instead.
Bradley Jr. echoed his dad's thoughts by complaining that European clubs prefer players from outside of North America.
"There's no doubt that, as Americans, we continue to have to fight for respect and we have to continue to show that we have players who can play at the highest level," he commented.
"You would have hoped that now what's gone on, whether it's in Major League Soccer or the national team or with certain individuals over the past 10, 15, 20 years would have done more for us, but the reality is that at the moment there's still a little bit of a feeling that if you can have an American or an Argentine, they're taking an Argentine."
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