Van der Vaart did eventually make his way to the Premier League, where he played for Spurs. But moves to those gigantic clubs would have been very interesting to see.
He said the following in an interview with FourFourTwo: "Yeah, it did get mentioned [Arsenal links]. I had several conversations with Robin van Persie, my team-mate with the Dutch side, and he had spoken to Arsenal about me a few times, but I never head anything.
"I did not regret it - joining Spurs was the best thing that happened to me.
"I actually had the chance to move to the Premier League a lot earlier. When I was about 19, Gerard Houllier wanted to take me to Liverpool.
"I was flattered, of course, but at the time I wasn't that interested in moving abroad.
"However, my agent said it would be a good idea to give Houllier a call.
"It was amazing to hear that, but I was still sure I wanted to remain at Ajax."