Arsenal missed out on transfer to Premier League rivals as ex-star rues ‘naive’ decision | Football | Sport

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Arsenal missed out on transfer to Premier League rivals as ex-star rues ‘naive’ decision | Football | Sport

He may have had a distinguished Premier League career and played 33 times for England, but Kieron Dyer still rues his own naivety that saw him miss out on a glut of top-flight trophies. The former winger moved to St James’ Park from Ipswich Town in the summer of 1999, and was highly rated after coming through the ranks at Portman Road.

The now 45-year-old went on to spend eight seasons at Newcastle, making 250 club appearances. But things could have been different had he opted to join Arsenal, who along with Leeds and West Ham, were also pursuing his signature.

Recalling his departure on talkSPORT, Dyer explained how Ipswich boss George Burley rapidly told Dyer of his imminent departure on the first day back in pre-season training. “We finished training and someone said ‘the gaffer wants to see you in his office’ and I go there,” explained Dyer.

He says ‘we’ve just accepted an offer for six and a half million, so you need to go now’. I had to drive to Stansted airport and meet my agent before flying to Newcastle, but if I’d have been a bit more wise I probably wouldn’t have ended up in Newcastle.”

“At the time, Arsenal wanted me with Arsene Wenger. I spoke to David O’Leary and Leeds on the phone, I spoke to Harry Redknapp who was manager of West Ham at the time. If I’d have known what I know now, I’d have said ‘I want to wait a bit’ and seen if Arsenal or Leeds would have increased their bid because I had the chance to be a part of the Invincibles squad.”

Indeed, while Dyer plied his trade in the north East, the Gunners would win two Premier League titles under Wenger, including that unbeaten 2003/04 season, as well as three FA Cups and also play in a Champions League final. In contrast Dyer, who later had spells with West Ham, QPR, and Middlesbrough, would eventually retire without any silverware in his collection.

And yet, he’s able to now laugh at his own foolishness, adding: “You’re so young and naive – plus my agent told me what Newcastle were offering – it was like ‘off we go’, sort of thing. You don’t really know because you have no experience.”

Dyer did however, did shine for large parts of his Newcastle career and represented his country under three different managers. He played three times at the 2002 World Cup under Sven-Goran Eriksson, where England made the quarter-finals before losing to Brazil.

In October last year, following tests in hospital, it was revealed by ex-club Ipswich that Dyer had been diagnosed with primary sclerosis cholangitis and required a liver transplant. That same month, he had a successful transplant and has since spoken of his gratitude for being able to continue his life.

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