Former Black Stars attacker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has explained how joining Arsenal rescued him from a life of strife and failure.
Though Abeyie was somewhat secure at Ajax Amsterdam’s academy, life off the field was not so rosy in the Netherlands streets.
“If it wasn’t for Arsenal, maybe I would have led a different life,” Quincy told The Athletic.
“Maybe I would have just a normal nine to five, maybe I would have been a street guy, I don’t know… but fortunately I got that phone call.
Despite a very short unsuccessful stay in London, Owusu became quite a journeyman with clubs in Spain, Wales, Russia, Qatar, Greece and Portugal.
“I was born and raised in Amsterdam. Bijlmermeer is the area — it’s basically the ‘hood. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes you might be on the block and you might hear a gunshot, or you might hear that someone got stabbed. When I got that phone call, I said ‘Arsenal? Who doesn’t want to play for Arsenal?!
“That moment when I met Arsene Wenger is when it sort of sank in, when I realised… It’s not on TV anymore. So I looked at my agent, and my agent looked at me, and it was like, ‘Boy… I gotta get the job done',” he concluded.