Thursday, September 28, 2023

Ex-Arsenal physio reveals Gunners sold star for £25m knowing he had serious knee issues

Former Arsenal physiotherapist Gary Lewin has revealed that the Gunners made £20million profit on a player after signing him two years prior with “degeneration of the knee”.

Lewin spent 22 years at Arsenal between 1986 and 2008 and enjoyed a number of successful years in north London, including over a decade alongside Arsene Wenger. The 59-year-old was the physio for the Gunners’ invincible season in 2003/04, and two years later when they reached the Champions League final.

His time at Arsenal came to an end in August 2008 when he moved to the England national team as Head of Physiotherapy. Lewin spent a number of years with the Three Lions, before re-joining the Gunners as physio for the women’s side. Lewin has also spent some time at West Ham.

 

But Lewin can remember one moment that stood out during his stint at Arsenal – and that was when the Gunners signed a player with knee issues. He told the Fozcast: “We signed a player for about £5million – a well-known international player. He had a cruciate injury 18 months before we signed him.

 

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“We did a full medical on him and we saw an orthopaedic surgeon and the surgeon said ‘He’s got early signs of degeneration of the knee that he’s had surgery on, you will get three or four years out of him at this level, then that knee will start to degenerate’.

 

“So we went back to the board, we graded that risk, spoke to the manager, and he said ‘We’re going to sign him, that’s great information to have, I will use that in the future’.

 

“I thought nothing of it. Two and a half years later, we’d won a few trophies and he was a big part of that. We then sold him to another European club for £25m. 18 months after that he retired.” There was no suggestion Arsenal sold the player knowing he would be unable to play for much longer.

Former Arsenal physiotherapist Gary Lewin

During Lewin’s time as physio at Arsenal, John Terry thanked him for saving his life after the ex-Chelsea captain swallowed his tongue in the League Cup final in 2007, admitting “I owe you one”.

Meanwhile, Eduardo credited Lewin for saving his boot and career after suffering a leg break during a game against Birmingham in 2008. The ex-Arsenal forward told the News of the World: “The injury was so grave I could have lost my foot. So I will always be grateful to Gary for what he did in lowering the risk to my leg.

 

“That was decisive. I do not remember too much about the blow. “I remember the pain, seeing that my foot had rotated, but I only recaptured my senses in hospital.”

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