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Why did Hangeland reject Arsenal?

Sports News - March 18, 2010

By Fab4.

Brede Hangeland has claimed he turned down a move to Arsenal, and that Fulham’s miraculous run to the Europa League Final proves he made the right decision. We know Arsene was keen on Hangeland last summer, but i always thought Arsenal were unwilling to match Fulham’s asking price and that’s why a transfer never materialised. But now Hangeland is suggesting he had the chance to join us but chose to stay at Craven Cottage.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper, Hangeland said:

“I’ve had so many great nights at Fulham and that was probably the best one.

“I signed my new contract here so I could take part in games like that and I’m really happy to be at this club.

“Does this justify rejecting a move to Arsenal? I think so.

“Nights like that are for the history books and something I will always remember.”

This may be another case of ‘lost in translation’, but i can’t really believe he would reject a move to Arsenal. Sorry, no disrespect to Fulham, but what player would turn down champions league football, playing at one of the biggest clubs in europe, playing in front of 60,000 every other week and fighting for the title to stay at Fulham? Not in his wildest dreams would he have thought he would be playing in the Europa League final this time last year, so he can’t have stayed just to fight for mid-table and hope for a good run in the Europa League. There must have been more to it, no player in their right mind would turn down Arsenal to stay at Fulham.

So what reason could he have given, either to himself or Arsene Wenger, to justify this apparent rejection? Was Hangeland going to be signed instead of Vermaelen, or possibly as well as? If it’s the latter, he may not have been guaranteed first team football every week so chose to stay where he was. Maybe Arsenal wouldn’t offer him the wages he wanted. Maybe he lacks ambition to further his career and is one of those players whose happy to settle for mediocrity. Or maybe this story is rubbish.

You may have guessed that I’m pretty gutted we didn’t sign him! And this ‘snub’ may also put Arsene Wenger off from making a second attempt to sign him this summer, which would be a shame because he would be a terrific signing for Arsenal. But fair play to him, he has been at the heart of everything that Fulham have achieved this year and i really hope they go on and win the Europa League. But i would love to see him in the red and white next year!

***Check out this post over on cottagers confidential in response to my article – 5 Possible Reasons Brede Hangeland Rejected Arsenal – the author Russ Goldman provides some sensible answers on why Hangeland may have chosen to stay at Craven Cottage last summer instead of joining Arsenal***

What do fans think of Hangeland’s comments? Please leave your opinions below….

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