Aaron Ramsey says he found himself starstruck by Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas and Kolo Toure when he arrived at Arsenal as a 17-year-old.
The midfielder moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2008 when Arsenal paid £4.8m to Cardiff City for the Welshman, who went on to appear 369 times in all competitions for the Gunners.
Ramsey joined Juventus last summer for free after his Arsenal deal expired but has struggled to make his mark in Serie A, with just four goals in 24 appearances.
Speaking on Instagram Live with Niall Horan, Ramsey said: “It happened so quickly at Cardiff. I played the final game of the season before and then had a pre-season, went off with first-team, we had a mad cup run where we got to the final and that was it then. It was done within the year.
“All my life I’ve been trying to achieve this thing of playing for Cardiff and then the next thing I know I’m walking into a dressing room with the likes of Fabregas, Gallas and Toure.
“I’m 17 years old, I’m just like, ‘What’s going on here?!’. I just felt out of place but they were really cool guys, made you feel really welcome but still you had to pinch yourself.
“Wenger was a massive pull. He would give youngsters opportunities, he talked me through how he saw my career path going, how he wanted to improve me and what I needed to improve on.
“He brought me straight into the first-team to train every day with these world-class players and he believed in me.
“I just felt he really wanted and felt like he made the most effort to try and secure me.”
The F365 Show is on hiatus until the football returns. Subscribe now ready for its glorious comeback. In the meantime, listen to the latest episode of Planet Football’s 2000s podcast, The Broken Metatarsal.