The Nigeria legend snubbed offers from Premier League clubs because he was seeking regular playing time

Former Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama said he snubbed offers from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur because they wanted him as a second choice goalkeeper.

The 37-year-old attracted interest from North London clubs after his fine outing with the Super Eagles at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

He said he was keen on having regular playing time and his snub made the Gunners move for David Ospina who joined Napoli permanently last year after impressing on loan.

“Arsenal wanted me for second choice, but I was not interested. I also had an offer from Tottenham that wanted me for second choice also and I wasn’t interested,” Enyeama told ESPN.

“It was after the 2006 Nations Cup and then again around the 2014 World Cup. When I turned them down, that is when they [Arsenal] took David Ospina.

“For me, I was at the stage where I preferred playing even if it was for one of the smallest teams. That is what the agents that were involved told me. That Arsene (Wenger) wanted me but he is not so sure because of my height and things like that.

“People have their choices and I respect their choices.”

Enyeama had a trial at Bolton Wanderers in the early 2000s and was close to signing a deal with the Whites which never happened.

“I am still wondering why I didn’t sign. It was a trial that went so well,” he continued.

“They even told me I was going to get jersey number 35. All that was left was just to do the medicals.

“I was supposed to be number three, because Bolton had two goalkeepers already, with Jussi Jaaskelainen as number one.

But I don’t regret it because it gave me the opportunity to go to Israel. I am so happy that I went to Israel because it opened doors for me.”

He started his Israeli sojourn at Bnei Yehuda in 2005 before moving to Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2007 where he spent four years.

Enyeama moved to France in 2011, spending seven years at Lille where he won the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé in 2014 – the Best African Player in Ligue 1.

Source by Taiye Taiwo

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