Former Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has revealed his life in the Premier League could have panned out differently as he declined the opportunity to join Liverpool as a 19-year-old.
The Nertherlands international has had a long and illustrious career on the international stage, and with Ajax, Real Madrid and Tottenham. However, the 35-year-old - currently playing for Denmark's Midtjylland - had opportunities to join either Arsenal or Liverpool prior to making the move to White Hart Lane in 2010.
The Gunners deployed Robin van Persie to persuade Van der Vaart to join the club, whilst Liverpool manager Gerrard Houllier was a huge admirer of the attacking midfielder and was eager for him to forge a partnership with Michael Owen.
Neither move eventuated and when asked by FourFourTwo, via the Express, if there was ever a possibility of joining Arsenal, Van der Vaart revealed: “Yeah, it did get mentioned.
"I had several conversations with Robin van Persie, my team-mate with the Dutch side, and he had spoken to Arsenal about me a few times, but I never head anything. I did not regret it - joining Spurs was the best thing that happened to me.
“I actually had the chance to move to the Premier League a lot earlier. When I was about 19, Gerard Houllier wanted to take me to Liverpool.
“I was flattered, of course, but at the time I wasn’t that interested in moving abroad. However, my agent said it would be a good idea to give Houllier a call.
“He explained that he had talked about me with Michael Owen, who had said he would be happy to play with me at Liverpool. It was amazing to hear that, but I was still sure I wanted to remain at Ajax,” he added.
Van der Vaart spent two years with Tottenham, where he played over 60 times for the club and netted more than 20 goals.
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