Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic says he was surprised Arsenal did not take the option to sign him after undergoing a trial with the club as a teenager.
Savic, 24, arrived in the Premier League in 2011 after joining Manchester City but failed to convince the club he was ready to challenge for a consistent first-team role. After just one season, he joined Fiorentina in Serie A, where he began to deliver on the early promise he had shown with FK Partizan.
Last summer, the Montenegro international joined La Liga giants Atletico Madrid, but things could have been different had Arsenal taken a different decision with him.
"I was very young," Savic told AS, recalling his time at the club. "At the age of 17, I went there for a two-week trial I think I did well, I was happy at the end of it. I do not know why I did not sign in the end.
"Maybe, based on everything I have experienced since, it was even good for me. The experience was good. I left a really small city and went to try out with a top club, imagine what that was like for a boy."
Savic made over 100 appearances for Fiorentina, becoming a vital component of La Viola's defence. The centre-half admitted in the summer that his decision to move to the Vicente Calderon, a deal that also saw midfielder Mario Suarez move in the other direction and play in the Champions League was one he couldn't turn down.
He said upon joining the Spanish side: "I am very happy to belong to this great club and to wear this shirt. I've been working and training with the rest of my team-mates for a week and I hope that this will be a good season for all.
"The main factor leading me to come here is the project. For me, coming to Atletico is a leap forward for reasons such as the Champions League and the League.
"I would like to collaborate in this project. Diego Simeone is the best coach in the world and I'm happy to work with him."