Wenger meetings swayed Senderos
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 18-year-old Swiss stopper had been hunted by a whole host of top European clubs after quickly becoming one the most highly-rated teenagers about.
His defensive ability and confidence beyond his years had attracted interest from Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Despite his Spanish father being a Real Madrid fan, Senderos turned both them and Manchester United down in favour of a switch to The Gunners.
Wenger paid Servette an initial fee of £2.5 million for Senderos, and he revealed that it was his meetings with Wenger that swayed the balance in favour of the former Double winners.
"I met Arsene Wenger three times and got on well," Senderos told the Daily Mail.
"He didn't make any false promises, he was honest and said 'You are going to have your chance'.
"That is all I can expect. Also it excites me coming to a great city like London, mixing with great players.
"My dad is a Real Madrid fan through his Spanish origins and of course they are a fine club but after visiting and training with Arsenal, I knew they were the right one for me."
Senderos knows all about Arsenal legend Tony Adams, and hopes he can follow in his illustrious footsteps.
"Of course he is a legend and I have much respect for him but I will go to Arsenal to try to play my own football. I hope I could be as successful."
Gunners chief scout Steve Rowley is already impressed with the club's newest addition, and sees big things ahead.
"It's not just about ability that Philippe certainly has, you need a big, strong personality to go to a top club and I'm sure he'd have done well whichever club he had chosen."