Arsene Wenger jokes Harry Kane 'made the wrong decision' when he picked Tottenham over Arsenal as a teenager03/14/2021
ARSENE WENGER has joked that Harry Kane made the 'wrong decision' joining Tottenham after his brief stint at Arsenal as a kid.
Kane's time at Highbury was made famous after a photos emerged of him as a youngster in full Gunners kit.
But after Arsenal legend Liam Brady deemed him 'a bit chubby' and 'not very athletic', the striker was released after just one season in the academy.
Asked by beIN SPORTS' Richard Keys how Kane had 'escaped', former manager Wenger, 71, replied with a smile: "Well, that's where he made the wrong decision.
"I know about this story but he was very young.
"He was nine-years-old, something like that, and his father moved… I don't know exactly what happened.
"But it was at a very young age."
Asked about how Kane is the 'one that got away', Wenger wistfully replied: "The history of every club is full of players you missed, who became top stars… unfortunately!"
And quizzed about the 27-year-old's qualities, the former Gunners boss gushed: "I think he was, until now, a really top leader at Tottenham, he's a top leader in the English national team.
"I respect highly his commitment and his quality, you know.
BETTING SPECIAL: GET EITHER KANE OR AUBAMEYANG TO SCORE IN THE NORTH LONDON DERBY AT 33/1
"And what I like today is, he could basically play as a No10, because of the quality of his assists, the speed of his vision and the execution of speed on long balls is exceptional."
Regarding his Arsenal exit, Kane wrote on The Players Tribune in 2018: "I was playing for Arsenal’s youth team at the time. I was behind enemy lines, so to speak, but it was a great opportunity.
"So one day when I was eight-years-old, I was walking to the park with my dad, and he said, right out of the blue, 'I’ve got to tell you something.'
"I said, 'Yeah, what is it?'
"Then I remember he put his arm around my shoulder, and he said, 'Well, Harry… Arsenal have released you.'
He didn’t criticise me. He didn’t criticise Arsenal. He didn’t even look especially bothered by it at all
"I can’t really recall what I felt in that moment. To be honest — I don’t even think I really knew what it meant. I was too young. But I do remember how my father reacted, and how it made me feel.
"He didn’t criticise me. He didn’t criticise Arsenal. He didn’t even look especially bothered by it at all. He just said, 'Don’t worry, Harry. We’ll work harder — and we’ll go on and we’ll find another club, alright?'
"Looking back on it now, you’d think I would’ve been more upset. And a lot of fathers, if they were desperate for their son to be a professional footballer… they would’ve reacted quite a bit differently, I suppose.
"But my dad, no matter what happened — he just never put any pressure on me. He was always so positive. His classic line, in any situation, was, 'Well, let’s get on with it then.'
"And that’s what we did."
Going into today's North London derby, Kane was the top-scoring player in the fixture's history, having bagged 11 times against the Gunners.
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