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Rejecting a move to Arsenal is one of the greatest regret in my career– Chellini..

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The Italy international defender had the opportunity to join the Premier League side at 16 but turned down their advances to stay in his home country

Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini has admitted that he regrets turning down the chance to join Arsenal when they attempted to sign him at the age of 16.

Chiellini, who joined Juve in 2005, has become synonymous with the Italian champions, winning nine Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia trophies, as well as reaching the final of the Champions League twice.

However, the 36-year-old central defender has revealed that 20 years ago he had the opportunity to sign for Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, but turned them down because he did not want to leave boyhood club Livorno – a decision he now regrets.

In an interview with French magazine So Foot, Chiellini says: “In hindsight, I was a fool to decline that offer. I was 16, I played in Serie C, I got a huge offer.

“I didn’t feel ready. If I had accepted, it would have given the impression of betraying Livorno.”

Chiellini is now into his 16th season with Juventus, but remained a player of interest for Arsenal long after their failed attempts to recruit him as a teenager.

Former Gunners striker Robin van Persie revealed in December 2020 that he had tried to persuade Wenger to return for the now-established Italy international, in order to boost Arsenal’s ultimately futile attempts to win the Premier League title.

Van Persie said: “At a given moment I felt called upon to say what Arsenal could do better in order to win the league. I felt we lacked a winning mentality, and asked Arsene Wenger to sign Giorgio Chiellini.

“I have played against him a few times, and he is a genuine winner.

“He is 36 years old, but he’ll dish out nine elbows every game with a smile on his face. He’ll keep smiling and never get a yellow card. You need those types of winners and killers in your side. I felt we should get him.”

In his So Foot interview, Chiellini also revealed the respect he holds for AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, calling him the “best enemy” he has had in his career.

Chiellini said: “I respect Zlatan a lot, we respect each other. We were team-mates, in my first season at Juve. I was never afraid to face him, never took a step back in front of him. He already had extraordinary physical strength.

“After that he became the absolute enemy, when he moved. The best enemy of my career is Ibrahimovic, without a doubt.”

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English FA explains why Arsenal were denied penalty against Burnley

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The Premier League has claimed that Arsenal were denied a penalty against Burnley because Erik Pieters was in ‘close proximity’ to Nicolas Pepe.

The Gunners were forced to settle for a point at Turf Moor after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener was cancelled out by Chris Wood, who benefitted from a huge mistake by Granit Xhaka.

However, Arsenal felt aggrieved in the 75th minute when Pepe’s touch inside Burnley’s box led the ball to hit Pieters’ outstretched arm, but Mikel Arteta’s side were not awarded a penalty following a VAR review.

Earlier this week, Fulham were involved in a similar incident as Mario Lemina was penalised for handball in the build-up to their disallowed goal against Tottenham.

But in a statement after the game, the Premier League clarified why Arsenal were not given the decision.

‘The ball has hit him from close proximity and he’s had no time to react,’ said the statement. ‘It wasn’t given on-field and the VAR didn’t think it was a clear error.’

 

Arteta, meanwhile, was left in no doubt that his side should have been awarded a penalty. ‘Absolutely,’ the Arsenal manager said after the game.

 ‘I think it is obvious and clear. I think there is no debate about that. ‘If that’s not a penalty, then someone will explain what a penalty is in this league.’

 

 

 

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Just In: Xhaka apologizes to Arsenal Fans for his costly mistake against Burnley

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Granit Xhaka is full of remorse for his horrendous display that led to Burnley goal, that cost Arsenal 2 points today.

He has come to apologize to Arsenal fans via his Official Facebook  Page:

It’s class from him.

 

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Match Facts: Burnley 1 vs 1 Arsenal

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Granit Xhaka gifted Burnley an equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal, in a match which also saw Erik Pieters’ red card and an Arsenal penalty overturned by VAR.

 

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang put Arsenal in control with an early finish that snuck through the grasp of Nick Pope (6). However, with Arsenal cruising and Burnley struggling, Xhaka inexplicably decided to play a pass across his own six-yard box which deflected off Chris Wood’s hip and into the unguarded net (39).

The game seemed to be meandering towards an uneventful conclusion but then sparked into life in the final 10 minutes.

 

Arsenal felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Pieters looked to have handled in the area but VAR did not deem it a clear and obvious error. Pieters – in the thick of the action – was then dismissed by referee Andre Marriner and a penalty was awarded when the defender deflected a Nicolas Pepe effort onto the crossbar. However, VAR showed that the block had come off his shoulder and Burnley had a reprieve.

Arsenal still managed to create one last chance in injury-time but Dani Ceballos curled an effort off the foot of the post as Burnley managed to hold on.

Player Ratings

Burnley: Pope (6), Lowton (6), Tarkowski (7), Mee (7), Taylor (6), Brownhill (6), Westwood (6), Gudmundsson (6), McNeil (5), Vydra (7), Wood (6)

 

Subs: Pieters (7), Brady (6), Rodriguez (6)

 

Arsenal: Leno (7), Chambers (6), Tierney (7), Luiz (7), Mari (7), Xhaka (4), Partey (6), Saka (7), Odegaard (6), Willian (6), Aubameyang (7)

 

Subs: Pepe (7), Lacazette (6), Ceballos (6)

 

Man of the match: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

 

Opta stats

  • Burnley have enjoyed just one win in their last 10 games in all competitions (D5 L4), after winning three in a row directly before that.
  • Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 games in all competitions (0-0 v Man Utd in January), after keeping five in a row directly before that.
  • Willian has provided an assist in each of his last three games for Arsenal in all competitions (3 in total), as many as he registered in his previous 25 for the club, while he is the Gunners’ top assister in the Premier League this season (5).
  • Only Cesc Fabregas (18y & 236d) reached 50 Premier League appearances for Arsenal at a younger age than Bukayo Saka (19y & 182d), who played his 50th game today.
  • Pope played his 100th Premier League game for Burnley, the 11th player to hit that milestone for the club.
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