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Former Arsenal midfielder Nico Yennaris has explained that England international Harry Kane was released from the club's academy as a youngster because he was behind Benik Afobe in the pecking order in north London.

Both Yennaris and Kane - now at Brentford and Tottenham respectively - were teammates in Arsenal's Under-9 team some years ago, but the Spurs striker was eventually released, a fact that always proves to be a lively topic of conversation during the north London derby.


Prior to returning to the Emirates on Wednesday, where Arsenal secured a routine win in the Carabao Cup, midfielder Yennaris explained that Kane's chances were at a premium as the club were focused on developing former striker Afobe.

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"It’s amazing to see where Harry Kane has gone and what he’s gone on to do," Yennaris told the Mirror. "But you never know and it’s about getting an opportunity and grabbing it with both hands. That’s what he did and he’s never looked back.

"To be fair, when they let him go, we were so young so nobody knew where we would end up and how far we could really go. At my age group, for a lot of the time, it was more about Benik Afobe because he was the main man in our team at the time."

Arsenal's decision to let Kane leave the club has clearly come back to haunt them, but fans will be even more concerned that their development staff opted to prioritise Afobe ahead of the England international.


Although Afobe has certainly made an impact lower down the divisions, the 25-year-old has only ever been able to score 10 goals in the Premier League, while Tottenham's Kane has found the back of the net 111 times in the top flight and is on course to possibly break Alan Shearer's record.