It is a well-known story in football, that in 2003 Arsene Wenger failed to get hold of a then 19-year-old Yaya Toure. Despite being impressed by the player, who even featured in a trial game against Barnet, problems with the Ivorian’s work permit saw him become impatient with the process and he instead opted to move to Ukrainian outfit Metalurh Donetsk.
The rest is history. Yaya Toure is now a Manchester City stalwart and was one of the best players in the Premier League last season.
But he has compared one of his youth teamers to Yaya in the past.
Chuks Aneke joined the North London outfit when he was just seven years old and during his time at The Gunners he has represented England at every age level up to under-19.
In 2009 he was wanted by Barcelona but instead signed a professional contract with the club and after loan spells at Stevenage and Preston. For the past two campaigns he has been at Crewe Alexandra - impressing at the League One club.
“Chuks is a bit like Yaya Toure – he has body power and good technique. We had Yaya here and for me Chuks is a bit similar because he can play behind the striker or in a deeper role as well. We will have to see where he will develop; it is not excluded that in the future he will play deeper in midfield.”
However that development has obviously not been to the standard necessary - as Aneke was on the free transfer list that Arsenal released yesterday evening.
Arsenal have the likes of Gedion Zelalem and Kristoffer Olsson coming through the ranks in central midfield - an area of the pitch well populated in the Arsenal first-team.
With that in mind Arsenal have allowed Aneke the opportunity to find regular first-team football elsewhere. The good news for Aneke is that Sky Sports are reporting heavy interest in his signature already - with the likes of Charlton Athletic, Millwall and Fulham all said to be keen.
Arsenal's loss may prove to be somebody else's gain.