Gradel Reveals Why He Snubbed Arsenal For Leicester City

Toulouse midfielder Max Gradel rejected an offer from Arsenal to start his professional career with Leicester City in League One because they presented more first team opportunities.

The 32-year-old had a four-month trial with the Gunners, but snubbed a scholarship offer to continue his development in north London. However, he opted to join the Leicester academy with the promise of getting his professional career started at the club.
Gradel signed his first full time contract with the Foxes in 2007 and he spent four years at the club before completing a permanent move to Leeds United in 2010.
“One was the chance to become a professional footballer,” he told the Athletic when asked about the Arsenal snub . “That’s the point – not just a footballer but a professional footballer. It was my dream and having a scholarship didn’t mean as much. Lots of players with scholarships don’t make it.”
During his stint at Leicester, the Ivory Coast international was loaned out to Bournemouth in 2007-08 and Leeds United in the 2009-10 season.
The 32-year-old recalled how desperate he was to play at Elland Road by paying for his hotel accommodation.
“I was ready to use my own money. The club didn’t make me pay in the end but I was ready to do it,” he said.
“In Africa, the way we are and the way we think, we don’t need much to make things happen. To play in the street, you need a street and a ball. That’s it. So we played football all the time and every day.”

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