Chiellini started off as a promising defender at Livorno, and in 2001 he attracted interest from Arsenal - who were then a European giant and regular challengers for the Premier League title under Arsene Wenger, boasting stars such as Thierry Henry and Denis Bergkamp.
He was just 16 at the time when he was approached by the Gunners and says he regrets rejecting their advances - admitting it was 'a huge offer' but that he simply didn't feel ready to leave Livorno.
"In hindsight, I was a fool to decline that offer. I was 16, I played in Serie C, I got a huge offer," he told So Foot.
"I didn't feel ready. If I had accepted, it would have given the impression of betraying Livorno."
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