Former Ghana defender, Shilla Illiasu has admitted that missing an opportunity to play for the English Premier League side Arsenal is his biggest career regret.
The center back who was part of Ghana’s squad that played in the 2006 World Cup in Germany speaking to TV3 recounted how he came close of joining the Gunners.
According to him, former manager of the club, Arsene Wenger watched him against Czech Republic but missing out on playing the London clubs is something he will regret forever.
â€œWhen the opportunity to play for Arsenal came, I was in doubt. I didnâ€™t think my dream was coming to pass. I love Arsenal.â€
â€œAfter our game against Czech, I was at the hotel when my agent came to me and said â€˜Shilla, gradually we are getting close; Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger was at the stadium and so, after the tournament you are going to Arsenal for trialsâ€™.
â€œI went to Arsenal for two weeks. I nearly signed a deal. I remember Ghanaâ€™s game against Togo in London, I came to the match and saw a journalist and he said â€˜Shilla, congratulations you have been given the number 27 jersey to represent Arsenalâ€™. Kolo TourÃ© was there and he also said â€˜sign what are you waiting forâ€™ and I told him I was waiting for my agent. If you ask me what really went wrong, I canâ€™t tell. I really regret not signing for Arsenal,â€ he added.
Illiasuâ€™s career saw him play domestically for Real Tamale United, King Faisal and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
He also played for Russian side FC Saturn Ramenskoye and Impuls Dilijan in Armenia.