Ireland legend Liam Brady claims Arsenal released Harry Kane because he was 'a bit chubby'
Arsenal released an eight-year-old Harry Kane because he was 'chubby and not very athletic', former academy chief Liam Brady has revealed.
Kane - pictured wearing an Arsenal jersey as a child - has developed into a goalscoring sensation at bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur who spotted him after he was let go.
The England striker has scored seven league goals against Arsenal, including the winner in last Saturday's 1-0 north London derby victory at Wembley.
“He was a bit chubby, he wasn’t very athletic but we made a mistake,” former Arsenal academy director Brady told Italian publication Corriere della Sera.
“But Tottenham sent him out on loan to lower-division clubs three or four times as well.
“But through his determination he has carved out an amazing career and he deserves it. He has a character that drives him to improve all the time."
The 24-year-old needs two more goals to break the Premier League record for most goals in north London derbies - an accolade held by Emmanuel Adebayor with eight.
Speaking before Tottenham's win - which moved them seven points clear of Arsenal in sixth - Kane said the club's decision to release him left him with a 'chip on my shoulder' and a strong desire to prove the club wrong.
Kane said: “I remember the first time we played against Arsenal [for Tottenham’s academy team] and even back then, I had a chip on my shoulder.
“It might sound ridiculous. I was only eight when they let me go, but every time we played them, I thought, ‘Alright, we’ll see who’s right and who’s wrong’.
“Looking back on it now, [being released by Arsenal] was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me a drive that wasn’t there before. “
"For me, the rejection is the best thing that ever happened to me. I remember walking round the pitch after the final whistle and clapping to the fans and it felt like, ‘well, I told you so’.
“We were in the tunnel, and I thought, ‘Okay took me 12 years, but we’ll see who was right and who was wrong.
“I scored two that day, and the winner in the 86th minute was something that I’d never even dream of visualising before a match."