David Seaman explains why he turned down Manchester United to join Arsenal

David Seaman of Arsenal
Seaman spent 13 years at Highbury (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal legend David Seaman has revealed the lure of instant success at the Gunners made him reject a move to Manchester United.

The former England goalkeeper enjoyed a successful 13-year spell at the north London club, winning three league titles and four FA Cups.

Seaman was being pursued by United and Arsenal whilst at QPR in 1990, but his manager at the time, Don Howe, and former Hoops player Ray Wilkins convinced him to join George Graham’s side.

The ex-Gunners No.1 told the Handbrake Off podcast: ‘It was Don [Howe] and Ray Wilkins actually, because I had spoken to Man United as well, they said that they were going to come in for me in the summer, but Arsenal had obviously put their money on the table.’

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‘So I’ve now got this choice of signing for Arsenal or Man United, Ray Wilkins said to me, ‘if you sign for Man United you won’t win trophies straight away but you will do later because they’re a massive club, but if you sign for Arsenal, you’ll win trophies straight away’, and that’s exactly how it turned out.

‘Then I spoke to Don, and Don said ‘just get yourself to the Arsenal lad’, so that was it.’

Arsenal hero Lee Dixon admitted the squad were unsure when they signed Seaman to replace John Lukic, but the ex-England stopper’s ability was clear from the get-go.

He said: ‘We were like ‘why do we need a new goalie, we’ve got John Lukic, he’s pretty good but he plays for QPR he can’t be that good’.

‘It literally took probably 20 minutes of the first training session and you go ‘oh that’s why we’ve got a new goalie’, his ability to keep the ball out of the net and also be calm at the same time was an absolute godsend.’

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