Achille Degan has a story and it’s one he likes to tell whenever he gets the chance.
In 2017, Degan camped outside London Colney before meeting Wenger and trying to swing a trial.
He’d been without a club for around six months at the time, having been released by FA Saint-Lo.
Now, the winger has been going over it all again and it’s such a bizarre story I thought it worth covering for those who missed it.
“It is in 2016-2017,” Degan told Ouest France.
“I was in London. Sometimes I slept in my car. The first time, in front of the training centre for Arsenal, I stayed from 9.30am to 5pm, with the desire to meet Arsène Wenger.
“A day on the bus in the direction of Conley, I meet a person. He is a journalist for the Daily Star. I make it part of my goal.
“A few days later, my sister calls me one morning to tell me that an article was published in London on me, with a photo.
“The coach Wenger arrived.
“He is in a car. He stops, opens his window. I tell him: I want to play at Arsenal, Mr Wenger. He asked me for my CV. I refuse because it must be hundreds. He advises me to find a club.
“I made the observation that the system, to gain access to a club, it is the piston. There must be an agent. Alone, it is impossible. I am 27 years old. I’m in a good club in Vannes. But this is not finished. Also, I have a French journalist who was following me still, and me filming from the article published in the Daily Star. I can also be selected with the national team of Benin.
“As long as there is hope…”
Degan eventually found a club with OC Vannes in the French fourth tier joining in the October following his summer camping trip.
He played 48 times for them, scoring four and assisting five before moving in the summer of 2022 on a free transfer to St Co Locmine in the French fifth tier.
There, he has played five times but has not been in the squad since 25 September.