Bukayo Saka has told Sky Sports that he had a trial with Tottenham Hotspur as a youngster but insisted that joining Arsenal was always his first choice.

Saka has established himself as a mainstay in Arsenal’s starting eleven over the last two seasons and the youngster has also been a regular in the recent England squads.

The versatile 20-year-old looks set to have a big future in the game and Spurs fans will be only too aware of his talent, with the winger having netted in the North London derby earlier this season.

According to Sky Sports, the youngster could have found himself in the Tottenham academy instead of their bitter North London rivals.

However, Saka has clarified that he preferred moving to the Gunners academy since he felt there was a clearer pathway to the first team at the club.

He told Sky Sports: “I think Arsenal was always the one I wanted to go to.

“It seemed like they had a lot of faith in their youth and there was a clear pathway when you could see the players coming up from Hale End to London Colney and my dad also really believed in the project and he loved Arsene Wenger.

“I think Arsenal was the club in the hearts of my family, so we chose them.” I think from the moment you sign, the education at Hale End, you start to know the history of Arsenal. You know which games are the most important.”

Saka also spoke about how he was made aware of the fierceness of the rivalry with Spurs as soon as he ended up in Arsenal’s academy.

The England international admitted that Mikel Arteta’s men gained a lot of confidence from their 3-1 in the North London derby earlier this season.

He added: “We obviously knew the derby and the rivalry with Tottenham. So I’d say from the point I signed, the coaches made it known before every game against Tottenham how much it means and there was always extra excitement around that game.

“I’d say that game (the win over Spurs) really lifted us – not just us, it lifted everyone around the club, from us all the way to the fans.

“It made us and them believe that we can do some special things this season and it gave everyone the confidence again in us that I think some people lost.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Based on the recent interviews from various Arsenal players, it seems like they are almost contractually obliged to say that they rejected Spurs. Joking aside, it stands to reason that the likes of Arsenal and Spurs would be competing for the same young talent from the local area.

Tottenham fans should be excited about the talent we have in our current Under-23s set-up, although it remains to be seen if any of them will make the step up to the first-team at Spurs or decide to leave like Dilan Markanday in search of senior football.

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