Arsenal

Arsenal wanted to sign me but Newcastle money was too tempting – I was naïve over transfer

I could have joined Arsenal and won trophies with Thierry Henry but Newcastle money was too tempting – I was naive The speedy winger was the talk of English football after progressing through the ranks at Ipswich Town during the late 90s.
After failing to win promotion in the 1998/99 campaign, interest was building in Dyer who told talkSPORT there were other offers on the table when he completed a £6.5million move to Newcastle United.

Speaking to Drive, Dyer explained a move away from his boyhood club was inevitable having come so close to the Premier League in a team with highly-rated players.

“We had Richard Wright, myself, James Scowcroft and David Johnson – really good young players so the director’s box was full of scouts and it was always in the paper that we were probably going to be leaving that summer, so it was kind of expected.
“I remember coming back from pre-season and [manager] George Burley pulls me into the office and says ‘we haven’t received any offers that we want to accept so if you start the season with us you have to get your head down’. I said ‘yeah, of course’.

“Then we finished training and someone said ‘the gaffer wants to see you in his office’ and I go there and 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.”

Signed by Ruud Gullit in 1999, Dyer ended up spending eight years at St James’ Park between 1997 and 2007 where he made 250 appearances for the club.
While clearly enjoying his time in the north east, the midfielder failed to win a single piece of silverware, something that can’t be said for the Gunners in that period.
Arsenal enjoyed a true period of dominance under Wenger in those years, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and Three Community Shields.

It was also an era that goes down in football history, with Wenger’s side being dubbed ‘The Invincibles’ due to going the entire 2003/2004 Premier League season without losing a game.
While he got to play with record scorer Alan Shearer among others at Newcastle, at Arsenal he could lined up alongside Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires to name a few.

Reflecting on the other interested clubs, he said: “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.”

Laughing at his youthful thinking, he added: “Because 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 had, at times, a strained relationship with Newcastle but showed plenty of times why the club paid so much money for one of the most talented young players in the country.

He joined West Ham in 2007 and retired from playing in 2013 after short spells at QPR and Boro in addition to a stint back at Ipswich.

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