Emmanuel Frimpong has lifted the lid on how his Arsenal career was effectively ended by a £2000-per-week pay rise request.
Frimpong signed for Arsenal aged nine and came up through the youth ranks alongside the likes of Jack Wilshere.
After making his debut against Newcastle in 2011 it seemed as though the tough-tackling midfielder was destined for stardom.
But serious injuries curtailed his opportunities under Arsene Wenger and Frimpong’s career subsequently hit the skids.
After a loan spell at Wolves, he returned to Arsenal only to discover that he was now surplus to requirements.
“I was playing for Wolves on a very minimal wage,” Frimpong told The Athletic. “I think I was on, like, £3,500 a month.
“I didn’t really care about the money at that time. I just wanted to make my name in football — money comes after that.
“So I came back from the loan and, credit to Arsenal, they offered me the deal and I said to them, ‘Look, I want £2,000 a week more.’
“They said they weren’t going to do it, so I said if they’re not going to do it, it just means that they don’t really want to keep me.
“For a team like Arsenal, asking for £2,000 a week more is nothing.
“So anyway, they said no, me and my agent said OK and that was it, whatever.
“I wanted to stay at Arsenal, you understand? I just feel like, if they really wanted to keep me, they could have done it.
“It’s not like I was asking for £50,000 or £70,000 a week. It was a very minimal wage.”
After leaving Arsenal for Barnsley in 2014, Frimpong embarked on a journeyman career.
He played in Russia, Sweden and Cyprus before succumbing to further injuries and retiring from the game earlier this year aged 27.