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Bolton Wanderers loanee Xavier Amaechi has admitted that he decided to leave Premier League giants Arsenal after growing concerned about a lack of first-team opportunities at the Emirates Stadium, speaking to Manchester Evening News. 

We’d imagine that Jadon Sancho never planned to become something of a footballing martyr when swapping Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017. 

But the fact remains that, inspired by his desire to take a stand and turn his back on a Premier League powerhouse in pursuit of regular minutes on the continent, a flock of highly-talented youngsters were soon following in Sancho’s gilded footsteps. 

Ranking Every Premier League Team’s Youngest Player This Season

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Ademola Lookman put pen to paper with RB Leipzig after falling out of favour at Everton. Reece Oxford left West Ham for Monchengladbach, joined at Borussia Park by former Tottenham starlet Keanan Bennetts. 

And, if Amaechi could turn back the clock, he would make the same decision again and again, even if his time at Hamburg has not quite gone to plan. 

Was Xavier Amaechi right to leave Arsenal?

“It is different for everyone. You see English players going to different countries,” explains Amaechi, who has made only three league appearances since joining Hamburg for £2.25 million. 

“Sancho probably started it for the English players. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted to do but it didn’t work out in the first two years. That doesn’t mean my career is over, everyone has their own path. 

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“I could have stayed in the bubble (at Arsenal) but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I learned a new language, so I can speak a bit of German now, and it is all good for life. 

“My sole purpose going to Hamburg was to play football because at Arsenal I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me to break through and get those minutes.” 

According to Football London, Arsenal were hoping to keep Amaechi in North London – ditto with Yunus Musah, now shining for the USA and Valencia, and Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry.

It is understood that England U20 star Amaechi decided to walk away after being omitted from Arsenal’s 23-man Europa League final squad by Unai Emery in May 2019. 

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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