Arsenal transfer target Dennis Praet was snubbed by Arsene Wenger's side at 16 because he was 'too weak'

DENNIS PRAET was too "weak" to sign for Arsenal ten years ago – but now the club reportedly want to pay £20million for him.

After failing to earn a contract in a trial at the club as a teenager, the attacking midfielder is now strongly linked with a move from Sampdoria.

Along with Danish teammate Joachim Andersen, the Gunners are hoping to do a deal for the pair worth up to £40m.

But, should the transfer come off, it won't be the first time Praet comes to North London.

And last time he didn't make the grade, as Arsene Wenger's comments from 2014 show.

Speaking ahead of a Champions League match against Praet's club at the time Anderlecht, the coach said: "When he was 15 or 16 years old, he came with Kyle Ebecilio who, in between, went back to Holland.

"At the time, he was judged – I didn’t know he was here, I didn’t know him at the time – a bit weak physically.

"Since then he has developed well."

The move to Arsenal fell through because I gave priority to school.

Wenger and Praet evidently never crossed paths and the Belgian returned home to progress through the Anderlecht ranks.

In 2016, he joined Serie A club Sampdoria and impressed on their run to ninth-place last campaign.

Praet denies his strength was an issue and recalled to HLN some time after: "I played a match with the reserves, I visited the training complex and I went through training with the first team.

"I never met Arsene Wenger.

"The move to Arsenal fell through because I gave priority to school."

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