Fiorentina’s 18-year-old striker Martin Graiciar has confirmed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wanted to sign him but a deal sadly never materialised.
The Czech Republic youth international spent some time with Arsenal’s youth set up when he was 14. But an unfortunate injury coupled with his age, restricted him from making his short stay in North London a permanent one.
“It’s one of the best clubs in the world,” he told Italian news outlet Calciomercato.
“I arrived in London when I was 14-years-old. I played with the U18 team, the U20 and with the Arsenal second team.
“After a few months of trials Wenger told me that I was an interesting player and that he thought he could sign me on a permanent deal.
“At the time, however, it was not possible for me because under FIFA rules, a club can only sign a player after who has turned 16 years old. Arsenal had been following me after my injury, but they didn’t sign me in the end.
“Now I am focused on Fiorentina. Everyone is very friendly at the club and I was left impressed by the clubs’ training facilities.”
Graiciar eventually signed a professional contract with Fiorentina in 2017. The Czech starlet has since been sent out on loan to Slovan Liberec in the HET liga – the top flight of Czech Republic’s football pyramid.