Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he regrets losing Jay Bothroyd as a teenager.
The Cardiff striker, who has gone on to win an England call-up, was sold by Arsenal for disciplinary reasons ten years ago after throwing a shirt following his substitution in an Under-19 match.
Head of youth development Liam Brady told Bothroyd he was no longer wanted at the Gunners, with the striker moving on to Coventry and also having spells at Perugia, Blackburn, Wolves, Charlton and Stoke before arriving at present club Cardiff.
The 28-year-old has been in great form this term, netting 15 times to help the Bluebirds to the top of the Championship and earning a first ever call up to Fabio Capello's England squad for the friendly against France on Wednesday.
Wenger, who congratulated the striker on his achievement, said: "He is one of my regrets, he left very early.
"But I have said many times it is important a guy has a good career, even if he goes somewhere else.
"It is better than to play in the reserves.
"He went down but has come back up again and we are all very proud of him at Arsenal."
Wenger did not stand in the way of the decision to axe Bothroyd, but believes he has now matured into a fine player.
He added: "Sometimes it is only later they realise they not only have to have talent, but need to work as well.
"Sometimes to go down to the Championship, there is no better education.
"It is true, he had a little outcome that you can have when you are 16 or 17 but he is a good guy, and he is classy; left-footed, strong body, fantastic technique.
"The incident didn't happen in the first-team group, it happened in the youth team.
"Liam Brady is responsible for that. They made the decision and I didn't stand in the way because it was a disciplinary matter."