Le Tallec: I spurned Arsenal

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Liverpool's French starlet Anthony Le Tallec has revealed he snubbed a move to Arsenal earlier in his teens.

The 19-year-old arrived at Anfield in the summer after Liverpool had originally agreed a deal with his old club Le Havre two years ago.

Le Tallec pitched up on Merseyside with compatriot Florent Sinama-Pongolle and the pair have made an immediate impression at the club.

But it could easily have been a different story for France Under-21 international Le Tallec as Arsenal were extremely keen on his services as a 15-year-old.

The skilful attacker admits he was tempted to join the French contingent at Highbury but Le Havre declined to consent to any deal.

In hindsight, Le Tallec feels it was the right decision as he believes he would have been too young to quit his homeland for the bright lights of London.

"I could have gone to Arsenal when I was 15 but Le Havre didn't want me to," commented Le Tallec.

"I had given my word but things didn't work out. Anyway, I think I was a bit too young then.

"Arsenal is in the past and I'm not disappointed at all. Today I'm at Liverpool and I'm very happy to have signed for them."

Liverpool's fierce foes Manchester United were also suitors of the teenager but Le Tallec says he was swayed in to move to Anfield by the persuasive powers of manager Gerard Houllier.

"I really had a good feeling about the place," continued Le Tallec. "It felt like a family club and it was one which has magnificent facilities.

"I also liked the city and what Gerard Houllier had to say."