Former Arsenal midfielder Josh Dasilva says it would be a moment to share the pitch with his old team-mates this afternoon after being told not long ago he might not play football again.
Dasilva, now from Brentford, first joined Arsenal aged eight before deciding to leave the club in 2018 and was part of the same group as Emile Smith-Rowe and Eddie Nketiah and has also played with England star Bukayo Saka .
And Dasilva says it would make him very proud to be able to share the field with his former team-mates when the two teams meet, although Smith-Rowe could be sidelined through injury.
“I know how hard it is to be where they are and to share that place with them, playing in what is probably the best league in the world is second to none,” he said.
“We all enjoy playing in the top league and it’s a very proud moment.
“I’m just proud of the journey we’re all going on. It’s all different, but we’re all on the same page, so it’s great.
Dasilva made a couple of appearances for Arsenal’s first-team before settling on Brentford, and while in north London he worked under Premier League legend Thierry Henry, who was instrumental in his move from striker to central midfield.
The Brentford man admits it was a difficult decision to leave the club but he’s glad he made it.
“The decision itself was difficult, but I had to think about my career,” he said. “At the time I didn’t really see a path for me to get into the Arsenal first-team. I had to make a name for myself elsewhere.
“It doesn’t matter which path you take. Eddie chose this path, I chose this path.
“I’ve always said that I would never regret the decision to leave. It wasn’t an easy decision but I enjoyed my time at Brentford.
Dasilva has had a good start to the season, scoring against Leicester and then Man Utd – who he supported as a boy and recalls wearing a United shirt in one of his tries with Arsenal.
But the midfielder is fortunate to be able to play football at all, having not long ago been told his career could be over with problems in his right hip that sidelined him for 11 months.
He was dealt another blow shortly after his return to action last season when he picked up a hamstring injury while serving a suspension for being sent off against Newcastle.
“I really laughed. I didn’t really think about it much,” he said of his reaction to being told he might not be able to play anymore.
“I think the hamstring injury was mentally harder than the hip injury. I kind of knew my season was over, I wouldn’t say, but because we needed points I knew I wasn’t in a position to start games.
“There was a lot of emotion against Leicester and my brothers and my cousins were in the crowd to share this moment with them and the team. Obviously the guys knew my situation and Thomas (Frank) was really good too.”