Granit Xhaka has been an ever-present at Arsenal since he moved to the Emirates in 2016.
The Gunners are his first English club, but he could have moved to the Premier League two years earlier in his career.
The midfielder joined the Gunners from Borussia Monchengladbach, but Stoke City was the first EPL club that wanted to sign him in 2014.
He had just moved to Gladbach and wasn’t an important player there. As he struggled to play regularly, Stoke approached him with an offer to move to the Premier League.
The German club’s Sports Director, Max Eberl reveals in a recent interview that he warned the midfielder not to leave.
He told Xhaka he would miss the chance to play for a top club if he joined the Potters that early in his career.
Eberl said to Rheinische Post via The Sun: “Granit’s career in the first 18 months at Gladbach did not run [as smoothly] as sliced bread.
“He was almost ready to be loaned to Stoke and I told him, ‘If you go to Stoke now, you’ll never end up at a big club – but you could’.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
Xhaka has built a career for himself at Arsenal, and he even spent some time as the club’s captain.
Stoke currently plays in England’s second division, and the Switzerland captain would probably be battling for a return to the EPL now if he had joined them early on.