I almost played for Arsenal: ex-Man City striker Benjani Mwaruwari
Former Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwari has revealed that during his playing days, he nearly put pen to paper on a deal to join English top flight side Arsenal.
Mwaruwari revealed this during a more than one hour interview on the youtube programme ‘In Conversation with Trevor’ the Alpha Media Holdings chairman [Trevor] Ncube.
Reminiscing on the past, the 43-year-old former Warriors skipper, told Ncube he almost signed for the Gunners but the move was blocked by his then manager.
“Arsene Wenger used to buy players in France, so I was at AJ Auxerre playing understudy of Djibril Cissé who later joined Liverpool,” said Mwaruwari.
“I was doing well in France at that time, thats when Wenger called my manager and my manager said he can’t sell two good strikers at the same time.”
He added: “I had to stay (in France) for another year but that year I suffered an injury and I stayed another then after thats when Harry [Redknap] came and said he was told by Wenger I was good and he then signed me to Portsmouth.”
Mwaruwari who also played for several clubs including South African top flight sides Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Chippa United went on to describe his rocky journey until he made it.
The ex-Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Switzerland’s Grasshoppers striker said he conducted a number of trials with a number of European countries.
“Most people don’t really know that to reach where I played it wasn’t an easy journey, I went through many trials with a number of clubs across the European continent, even in Turkey and Denmark.
“At one time I conducted trials with the English side Bournemouth in England. I also tried my luck in China and Italy.”
At the moment, the retired footballer is the Ngezi Platinum Stars head coach.
He was unveiled by the Mhondoro based Castle Premier Soccer League outfit in April.
This was four weeks after the club had parted ways with Rodwell Dhlakama who was allegedly fired owing to allegations of corruption.
The former Jomo Cosmos striker who is a holder of a UEFA A coaching badge pleaded with Ngezi’s executive to grant him adequate time as he still trying to work towards rebuilding a competitive youthful side.
He also said his desire is to win the championship with the Platinum miners.
“I hope and wish they (the club) can give me the time that I need. I came in when they had played nine or 10 games, they were in a good position and I need to keep that.”
“In terms of my philosophy, it takes time for the team to understand what I want. I’m so glad these boys are responding well, even though we need to strengthen in some areas.”
“But in this business, there is no time. Every game counts, I need to win games, I need to stay up there and to keep the team trying to win the league,” Mwaruwari said.