Real Madrid star Federico Valverde has explained his decision to reject the opportunity to join Arsenal. Valverde came close to joining the Premier League giant after a trial at the club in 2016, but ultimately chose to sign for Real Madrid from Penarol.
In his column for The Players’ Tribune, Valverde clarified his stance, stating that he turned down Arsenal because he “never wanted to go to England.” He emphasized that, although stories circulated about his potential move to Arsenal at the age of 16, it was not a desire of his to play in England. Valverde highlighted the influence of the business side of football at the time, with certain individuals encouraging him to consider the move for financial reasons.
During a trial in London, Valverde felt uncomfortable and acknowledged that while the prospect might sound appealing from a material standpoint, the reality was different. He emphasized the challenges of being separated from his family, living alone in a foreign country at the age of 16, and not being comfortable with the language. Valverde expressed concern for the human side of the decision-making process, noting that for every successful story of a young player moving overseas, there are many who face difficulties and struggles.