Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he wanted to join Arsenal after quiting Manchester United in 2014 – but was rejected by Arsene Wenger.
Ferdinand was in search of a new club after his deal at Old Trafford expired and he believed he could ‘help the dressing room’ at Arsenal after years of under-achievement.
However, the former Three Lions defender was knocked back by Wenger, which he claims was the ‘right call’ after he went on to struggle at his next club, Queens Park Rangers.
The 42-year-old left United after 12 years at the club, winning six Premier League titles and a Champions League, but reveals he was seriously considering a move to one of the club’s fiercest rivals.
“The maddest thing is I thought about [joining] Arsenal,” Ferdinand said on YouTube channel Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE.
“I said, “Arsene, listen, I am leaving Man United and if you want, I will come and try and help the dressing room etc. because I think you need help in that department. I will obviously play but, more importantly, I will come for the culture”.
“He didn’t take me up on the offer and he was right because my performances at QPR weren’t up to the levels.
“But in the changing room, I believe I could have helped him, because that is where a lot of the culture derives from.”
Ferdinand also believes Arsenal’s £50million summer signing Ben White needs a new partner in defence after his debut ended in defeat with the Gunners comfortably beaten 2-0 by Brentford last Friday.
He said: “The issue I have with Arsenal is you can’t buy players for a year down the line.
“Ben White is good now but what you need is someone to come in and grab the players in the training ground.
“I feel that at this stage of his career, Ben White needs a partner to bring him a lot, like a Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane or Thiago Silva.
“Arsenal have needed a centre-back to come in and defend. If I’m him I’m thinking, “I need some help, I’m getting exposed”.”