From obscure Danish outfit to £6m Arsenal target in three years

West Ham Upton Park

Winston Reid has been linked with Arsenal this morning ... as his rise from fringe player in Denmark to Premier League star continues.

It was when New Zealand secured their first ever point in the World Cup that I first became aware of the name Winston Reid - as it did with most people before then, he had not featured on many radars.

His header against Slovakia, in stoppage time, levelled the game at 1-1 - and sent The All Whites into ecstatic joy.

He didn’t quite manage to play a part of an even bigger upset, as the Kiwis failed to advance from the Group Stage - but they still found themselves revered in a nation where rugby and cricket dominate the sporting landscape.

For Reid, it was the start of this journey that leads him to this day, when Arsenal are reportedly sniffing around him for £6 million in January.

And you can see why. Strong in the air, good with the ball at his feet and deceptively quick along the ground - he is the archetypal modern day defender that any Premier League team would be dying to get hold of.

Not bad when you consider where he was just over three years ago. Leading into the World Cup he was plying his trade in Denmark with FC Midtjylland - a team that will be unheard of to those that aren’t connoisseurs of the game, or indeed Manchester City fans (FCM gave City a real run for their money back in 2008).

Reid move to Denmark at the age of nine with his mother and Dnaish step-father, but despite playing or the Danish youth teams (it makes sense compared to travelling halfway round the world every few months) he never forgot his New Zealand routes - and his decision to play for the nation of his birth was vindicated with that Slovakian goal.

Because after the competition he was snapped up by West Ham United for an undisclosed fee on a three-year-deal, that was recently extended by the club.

After taking a while to adapt and make his way into the team, the 25-year-old is now playing the best football of his career - and receiving plaudits left-right and centre for his excellent achievements on the football pitch.

Now, he finds himself the subject of interest from the Premier League leaders - as his incredible journey continues to go on.

I bet after he did this in 2010, he never thought he would be in this situation today…

images: © daniel.richardson0685, © Tom Cuppens

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