Manchester United

Man Utd were turned down by Premier League star who destroyed Arsenal’s defence

Man Utd were turned down by Premier League star who destroyed Arsenal's defence

Manchester United were spurned by Trevor Sinclair after making an offer for the QPR prospect (Image: Shaun Botterill/Allsport)

One future England international took a bold gamble by declining Manchester United shortly after becoming a real threat in the Premier League.

The legendary Trevor Sinclair of Queens Park Rangers has admitted that he once turned down a chance to sign with Manchester United.

Sinclair had only recently started playing for QPR when the Red Devils showed interest in signing him. ‘Tricky Trev’ soon rose through the ranks at QPR after joining from Blackpool in 1993, and any early concerns about playing in the Premier League soon vanished.

The 51-year-old’s career may not have reached its full potential as a result of the injuries that beset the former West Ham and Manchester City player. But after leaving his mark in the top flight, he recently disclosed how close he was to signing at Old Trafford during an appearance on the Ben Heath Podcast (via the Manchester Evening News).

In response to the question of whether he thought the move “got away” from him, Sinclair said, “Not really.” Speculation, in my opinion, is inevitable when you’re performing well. When I first started out for QPR, I recall wondering, “How am I going to get in this team?” Owing to the caliber of players on my squad, I reasoned that this was a different class. To try to get anywhere close to this, I’m going to have to put in a lot of effort.”

“Eventually I did,” he went on, “and that was because Gerry [Francis] worked with me one-on-one, made sure I understood my role, and then was able to trust me and give me the chance.” But I do recall playing in the ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ match under George Graham, alongside [Nigel] Winterburn, Tony Adams, and Lee Dixon.

“And I recall that when I played against them, I utterly destroyed them both. I thought, ‘Is this as hard as it’s going to get?’ Winterburn went from one side to the other wing and did the same to Dixon.

Man Utd were turned down by Premier League star who destroyed Arsenal's defence

Sinclair made the revelation on the Ben Heath Podcast ( Image: Ben Heath Podcast)

The famous person shared additional insights into his path, indicating that a serious knee injury impeded his early career growth. He had bragging rights before that, saying that facing Premier League defenders was sometimes “like playing in slow-motion.”

“So I got in the England squad at (I think) 22, pre-96 Euros,” he said. “I had a minor ankle injury that prevented me from playing for that squad, but it was still unfortunate.” I suffered a knee injury shortly after, which required a year off.

“However, I entered the England team as a maverick, someone who doesn’t really need to put in a lot of effort in the past, and I came dangerously close to earning an England cap before losing out. One of my biggest accomplishments, in my opinion, was joining the England team five or six years later as a modified version of myself.”

Even though Sinclair joined the national team late in 2001, he only managed to accrue 12 caps, four of which came from the 2002 World Cup. Even though Sinclair’s time abroad was limited, he acknowledged that the big teams were always interested in him.

“Over the years, there were major clubs that expressed interest,” he said. Yes, Manchester United was one, but I never look at anything and say to myself, ‘Oh, I wish I had done that.’ You take actions at the time that you believe are best for you; in my case, that meant signing a new contract and staying at QPR. Even though it didn’t work out, I made the right choice at the time.”


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