By Giuseppe Muro
James Shea has revealed the story behind one of the shortest loan deals in Arsenal history.
The young goalkeeper joined Southampton on a temporary one-month deal in February but spent just eight days on the south coast before being recalled by Arsenal.
Shea has explained his whirlwind move to the League One side and why his time there was abruptly cut short.
“I was injured at the time and Neil [Banfield] called me to say Southampton had come in for me,” the 19-year-old told Arsenal.com. “He thought it would be a good move for me and I was just coming back from injury so I thought it would be a good move as well.
“Nigel Adkins [the Southampton manager] called me on Thursday night and asked me to go down there on the Friday. So I had a quick rush to get there and sign in the morning because they were travelling up to Rochdale for a game the next day.
“So it was all a bit of a rush! I got down there, was straight on the coach and up in Rochdale within a day. That game got called off but we travelled up to Hartlepool to do a few days training and then drew 0-0 against them.
“I had a day off and when I went in for training the next day they told me Arsenal were recalling me, after eight days, because Emi [Damien Martinez] was injured.”
Despite making only two unused substitute appearances, Shea believes the experience was worthwhile and has heaped praise on Saints boss Adkins.
“I was a bit disappointed because I enjoyed it down there,” he said. “It was good doing something different.
“Nigel Adkins was great - because he was a goalkeeper himself, he treated the goalkeepers well and he was great with me. I was treated well down there.
“I would like to have stayed there a little bit longer and maybe got a couple of games but it wasn’t to be. And if they hadn’t called me back, I wouldn’t have been on the bench against Manchester United.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source