"I did my first audition [trial] at Arsenal in 2004," Mannone told Corriere della Sera.
"I asked Atalanta what their plans were but they did not want to focus on me.
"I have to thank them, otherwise I would not be at Arsenal.
"In 2009 Almunia was injured and I played ten games, but then Wenger decided to give me a break.
"He thought that I was not ready, but now I understand.
"Now my goal is to take the starting spot," Mannone continued.
"I want to be Arsenal's number one.
"In the future I'd return to Italy and play in Serie A, perhaps with AC Milan, my favourite team.
"Besides, I hope to reach the national call."