Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has admitted thinking that new signing Danny Welbeck was heading to North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur instead.
The England international striker was heavily linked with a move to Spurs over the summer after it became evident that his time at Manchester United was running out.
Rumours surfaced ahead of the transfer window deadline that the 23-year-old was pushing for a move to White Hart Lane, but despite heavy speculation such a deal failed to materialse.
As it was, deadline day approached and the Gunners thrashed out a reported £16 million for his services – a result which clearly shocked Wilshere as the midfielder anticipated Welbeck moving to Spurs.
“I remember speaking to Danny in the England camp on deadline day and he said it was on. I thought he was joking. I was reading that Tottenham were interested and then he said that Arsenal were interested.” He said, quoted by the Mirror. “As soon as he said we were interested I was telling him ‘you’ve got to come'.”
Arsenal’s new striker has been in good goalscoring form since arriving at the Emirates, scoring four goals in five games including a hat-trick in the Champions League.
His impressive run of form has earned him the central striker role for the national team and Wilshere has put his form down to his rejuvenated confidence, saying:
“The main thing for Danny is his confidence," he said. "I said before we signed him for Arsenal he could play centre-forward and he’d score goals.
“He proved that with two in the Switzerland game and at Arsenal he’s been fantastic. He didn’t really get that run of games up top for Man United – to be the key man, the goalscorer.
“He likes that pressure of being the key man. If you look through the league there’s not many centre-forwards who give you that work-rate and score goals.”