Arsenal Transfer News: Wonderkid Gabri Veiga opens up on snubbing the Gunners for Saudi Arabia

Tom Weber
Tom Weber

  • Updated: 19 Mar 2024 16:39 GMT
  • 4 min read
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, 2023/24

Spanish starlet Gabri Veiga has opened up on his decision to head to Saudi Arabia last summer.

The 21-year-old had burst onto the scene at Celta Vigo in LaLiga last season, with his performances so impressive that Real Madrid and Barcelona were frequently associated with the youngster.

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Off the back of his breakout season, speculation about his future ramped up with more and more clubs reportedly joining the race to sign him as the summer went on. The likes of Arsenal and Man City were said to be keen on him, while reigning Serie A champions Napoli reportedly even lodged an official offer for the midfielder.

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In the end, Veiga shocked everyone by becoming one of the myriad big-name stars to head to Saudi Arabia, joining newly-promoted fallen giants Al-Ahli. The youngster made 19 appearances and notched four goals and assists before being sidelined by an injury.

Now, the Spaniard has spoken about his decision to join the Jeddah outfit, insisting that he does not regret heading to the Middle East despite frequent speculation that he already wants out.

Gabri Veiga
© IMAGO – Gabri Veiga

What did Veiga say?

Asked by AS about his failed Napoli move, Veiga said: “The project fit me. I liked the project and how I could have been important within a big club that plays in the Champions League. But in football, everything changes from one day to the next, and there came a time when the club’s vision towards me, for X reasons, changed.”

“So, as a player I thought, and I think today, that it was not the right place to feel important, nor to play the minutes that I believed were necessary to continue growing after a season in which I was very influential.”

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Veiga was also quizzed about the supposed interest from Arsenal and City. “I leave all that in the hands of my representatives. I have complete confidence in them. I was focused on finishing a dream season…without being aware of any type of rumours. Perhaps at some point, there was some strong interest…”

“It depends on many factors and the transfer market is not easy at all. But I’m telling you that in August a situation arises and I make the decision that I think is most appropriate. I am 100% sure it was correct.”

Regarding his future, Veiga said: “Last year I decided to take an important step in my career. I have this year and two more [on my contract] and I am very, very happy to represent Al-Ahli every weekend. So that’s the only thing I have in mind, to return that trust, that bet they made on me.”

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