'How Arsenal lost Sancho, Pulisic & Bellingham transfer race to Dortmund'

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Jadon Sancho of England is challenged by Christian Pulisic of the United States during the International Friendly match between England and United States at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2018 in London, United Kingdom
Photo: Catherine Ivill/GETTY IMAGES

Former Arsenal head of youth recruitment Steve Morrow has revealed that the Gunners were in the running to sign Jadon Sancho, Christian Pulisic and Jude Bellingham, before they ended up at Borussia Dortmund.

Over the years, there has been a number of high-profile players that could have made the move to North London, had things gone slightly differently.

Included among them would be the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Kylian Mbappé and many more.

And now it seems as though they have another three players to potentially add to that list.

Morrow, who spent near to a decade in his youth recruitment role at Arsenal before leaving in 2019, told Goal that Arsenal also came close to signing Sancho, Bellingham and Pulisic.

In his almost-decade at the club, Morrow outlined how Arsenal missed out on signing Sancho not once, but on two separate occasions.

Every top club will say there were near misses.

Jadon Sancho was certainly one of those. We missed out on him once when he moved from Watford and went up to Manchester City, and then again when he reached that age at City when young players have a choice to make.

Jadon felt that his future was away from Manchester and we were very, very close to signing him, but the family felt at the time that the best opportunity for him was at Dortmund and off he went.

Sancho's Dortmund teammate Bellingham was another that could have made the switch to the Emirates.

Arsenal tracked the midfielder for some time but Bellingham signed for the German side last year amid huge competition for the Birmingham City youngster.

There have been others. Jude Bellingham was another one that was very similar to that.

When he came to the end of his contract at Birmingham and was debating whether to stay there and sign a scholarship or move somewhere else, we were very close to that one as well.

But sometimes it just doesn’t happen and you have to accept it.

Another star name who was on Morrow's radar during his time at Arsenal was now Chelsea star Pulisic.

In fact, the USA international had a trial at Arsenal as a teenager but was deemed not to be up to the physical level of others in the academy at the time.

Through our connections in the States, Christian was one that I actually had over at London Colney as a 14-year-old. He came in and did quite well, but he was small and underdeveloped physically when he came to us.

I did see his potential but he was certainly behind physically in terms of the same age group with our boys.

I wanted to bring him back again, but it just didn't work out and he went to Germany unfortunately.

Bundesliga giants Dortmund have become famous for developing youthful players to become world-class players.

The business model of recruiting raw, young talent and to nurture them into becoming superstars has become the club's best philosophy over the years.

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