Arsene Wenger says that he passed up the opportunity to sign N’Golo Kante earlier in his career. That takes the total number of ‘It could have beens’ to 1,427.
The 24-year-old has proved to be a superb piece of business by the Foxes and has played a major role in turning Claudio Ranieri’s men from relegation favourites to Premier League title contenders.
Kante and Leicester travel to Arsenal on Sunday looking to build on their five-point advantage at the summit.
But the French midfielder could have been lining up for the hosts at the Emirates Stadium, had Wenger acted having been recommended the player as a youngster.
“Kante is a huge force in their team,” the Gunners boss said.
“Of course I know him. You look at his career and you will be amazed. Because he played in Suresnes in Paris at the age of nine, 10 years old. After he went to Boulogne as an amateur. They didn’t want to sign him pro.
“After, he went to Caen, and then he came finally to England. But everywhere he has been, he has always adapted to the level where he was.
“One of my best friends in life knows him since he was 10 years old, and he spoke to me about him. We went to watch him and we saw he had quality. But I didn’t know he would come so quickly to England.”