Wright-Phillips reveals how Arsene Wenger made him join Chelsea

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Chelsea signed former England international Shaun Wright-Phillips back in 2005, in a £21m move from Manchester City, but the buzzing winger has revealed how he could have gone to Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal, and not the Blues.

At the time, Wright-Phillips was just 23 and was a buzzing winger who had come out of the Manchester City academy and was doing very well in the City first team. He was even voted into the PFA Team of the Year for his performances for Manchester City, scoring 10 goals over the 2004/05 season.

Arsenal were due to sign the young winger whose dad Ian Wright, is a legend at the club, but in their usual fashion, the Gunners stalled and Chelsea went on to sign the speedy winger.

“They came in for me at the same time as Chelsea, but Arsene Wenger wanted to wait until January,” Wright-Phillips told FourFourTwo.

“I’ve always been brought up to strike while the iron’s hot, because you never know what’s going to happen a week later. If I’d got injured, I might have missed both opportunities.

“Dad (Ian Wright) told me, ‘Son, of course I’d love it if you played for Arsenal, but we’ve got to take you where you fit best.’

“We didn’t have to make a choice – Arsene made the decision for us.”

Wright-Phillips will go on to win the Premier League in his first season at Chelsea and the FA Cup the following year.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had boasted the previous year about signing the then young Wright-Phillips.

Speaking in 2004, Wenger said: “He is a guy we have an eye on and we follow his progress. He will be a major threat to us, has a tremendous work-rate and tremendous penetrating power.

“He is a Wright – and the Wrights have a big love affair with Arsenal. He is an interesting player, a winner and I like his attitude.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.