U19 international joins Gunners

Arsene Wenger said there would be no new signings on deadline day just for the sake of it, unless there were some top players available at the right price.

Clearly, that didn’t happen, but Gunners fans may have missed the one signing that did take place on August 30, that of 17-year-old goalkeeper Dejan Iliev. Household name? Not exactly, but apparently the young Macedonian had been attracting interest from other European clubs according to Macedonian media reports, which stated that Iliev had impressed on trial and penned a deal with Arsenal. Undoubtedly, the two Manchester clubs and Barcelona will already be waiting to see when he has a year left on that contract.

Iliev played for FK Belasica, from the second tier of the Macedonian league. Clearly, this is a signing for the future, and Iliev may become an international goalkeeper at some point. Indeed, he is already an international at U19 level, playing in a 2-0 defeat against Slovenia in February.

The current Macedonian national keeper is Tome Pačovski, 30, who plays domestic football in Belgium with KV Mechelen.


Award-winning writer, editor and photographer from England currently living in Canada. Several published books do date, and thousands of articles/photos have appeared in major publications around the world on a range of subjects from science to sport, music to news. Involved with football as a club board member and league president, referee and referee assessor and course instructor.