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Vontae Daley-Campbell never had a professional contract offer on the table from Arsenal, before his departure to Leicester City this summer.
Daley-Campbell’s scholarship deal with Arsenal expired this summer, and many of us were under the impression that was entirely his decision.
Earlier reports had suggested the club had made him a contract offer, and he’d just refused to sign it.
It’s clear now that’s not the case. Daily Cannon have been reliably informed that Daley-Campbell never had a contract offer on the table, throughout his entire two-year scholarship deal.
Daley-Campbell wanted to sign for Arsenal, the club he’d been with for nine years, but was never given the chance.
The situation got particularly dire in February, as the right-back was dropped in favour of Zak Swanson for the FA Youth Cup match against West Bromwich Albion.
Arsenal lost, and suddenly Daley-Campbell was back in the team again, but the message to the player was clear. Swanson, Olowu and even midfielder Olayinka would get chances at right-back ahead of him.
With over 30 outside offers coming in for the 18-year-old, he started to consider his options.
Brendan Rodgers ended up convincing Daley-Campbell to join Leicester in a 90-minute meeting, significantly more time than he’d had face-to-face with Freddie Ljungberg all year.
It’s a real shame, as Daley-Campbell was clearly a talented Arsenal prospect. Like most youth defenders he still has his flaws, but he’s an exciting player going forward and never really had the chance to prove his worth at u23 level.
At least the England u18 international now has a chance to push on with Leicester, and Arsenal will just have to hope they’ve made the right decision on the players they selected ahead of him.