Tuesday Apr 21, 2020. 14:00
Former Nigeria international Vincent Enyeama has revealed that he rejected offers from top English clubs Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
The 37-year-old goalkeeper, who helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title, is a free agent having parted ways with French side Lille OSC in August 2018.
Enyeama attracted interest from European clubs after impressing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals where Nigeria reached the round of 16.
“Arsenal wanted me for second choice, but I was not interested. I also had an offer from Tottenham that wanted me for second choice also and I wasn’t interested,” Enyeama told ESPN.
“It was after the 2006 Nations Cup and then again around the 2014 World Cup. When I turned them down, that is when they [Arsenal] took David Ospina.
“For me, I was at the stage where I preferred playing even if it was for one of the smallest teams. That is what the agents that were involved told me. That Arsene (Wenger) wanted me but he is not so sure because of my height and things like that. People have their choices and I respect their choices.”
Enyeama had successful trials with English side Bolton Wanderers in the early 2000s, but he was not signed by the former Premier League club.
“I am still wondering why I didn’t sign. It was a trial that went so well. They even told me I was going to get jersey number 35. All that was left was just to do the medicals,” he said.
“I was supposed to be number three, because Bolton had two goalkeepers already, with Jussi Jaaskelainen as number one.
“But I don’t regret it because it gave me the opportunity to go to Israel. I am so happy that I went to Israel because it opened doors for me.”