Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze has said it was difficult to be rejected by Arsenal as a junior.
The 22-year-old has impressed since moving from QPR to Palace for £ 17m on a five-year deal in August.
However, success has not always been easy for the Londoner, who thought he would triumph with the Gunners when he signed for them before his 16th birthday.
“I was vetted by some clubs and that’s when I first went to Arsenal,” he said.
“At a young age, it was difficult, especially to be released. My mom and I cried, everyone was so upset, that’s all you know at that age.
“But looking at it now, that’s the beginning of my journey and I’m thankful to God that it was. If it weren’t for that, I may not have had the stamina, the courage to go and be who I want to be elsewhere. It has shaped me to be who I am today. “