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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Wilson rules out Seaman return
By Simon Austin
BBC Sport

David Seaman
Eriksson says he will still consider Seaman
Former Arsenal great Bob Wilson does not think David Seaman will play for England again, despite his move to Manchester City.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has said he will consider Seaman if he is playing regular Premiership football next season.

City boss Kevin Keegan has guaranteed Seaman a first-team place, but Wilson does not think it will be enough for the 39-year-old to displace David James as England's number one.

"I think Sven has made up his mind and decided to go with a younger keeper," Wilson, a former Arsenal keeper and coach, said.

And Wilson said playing for England was no longer a priority for his close friend Seaman.

"I don't think returning for England is even something that interests David particularly - we haven't even talked about that," Wilson said.

This is a desperately sad day for Arsenal - the fans will be really sorry that it's come to this
Bob Wilson

"David is just interested in writing another chapter in his glorious career with City."

Seaman has agreed a one-year deal with City after turning down an offer to become a player-coach at Arsenal. Wilson thinks Seaman can take City on to a higher level.

"He's the greatest goalkeeper Arsenal have ever had in terms of winning trophies," Wilson said.

"He won nine trophies during his time at Highbury and will pass on his winning mentality to the City players.

"David knows he can still play at the highest level. It's an inspired signing by City.

"People concentrate on the few mistakes he has made, like the fluke Ronaldinho scored in the World Cup, but that's only because he's the England keeper."

Wilson said Seaman had been unable to resist the promise of regular first-team football at City.

"He wants to play until he knows he can't," Wilson said.

"He was offered a role as part player, part coach by Arsenal, but he would have only been playing if the number one and two goalkeepers were out."

Seaman leaves Highbury after 13 years and is the last member of the famous back five - Steve Bould, Tony Adams, Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn being the others - to leave the club.

Bob Wilson and David Seaman
Wilson worked with Seaman for 15 years
Wilson said: "This is a desperately sad day for Arsenal. The fans will be really sorry that it's come to this.

"When he comes back to Highbury he's sure to get a fantastic reception."

But Wilson refused to blame Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for letting Seaman leave.

"Arsenal are going to have to play about 60 games next season and you take longer to recover from injuries as you get older.

"Arsene has taken the decision to go with another keeper and you have to respect that."

Seaman to join Man City
04 Jun 03  |  Man City

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