Arsene Wenger reveal how close we came to signing Jamie Vardy
It was no secret that back in 2016, Arsenal were linked heavily with a move for Jamie Vardy. On the back of a title-winning campaign with the Foxes, it was no surprise that he had clubs circling. He was simply imperious in that 2015/16 season and without his clinical goalscoring Leicester would not have been close to winning the league that season. That ultimately is what was the difference between Arsenal and Leicester in the end. Mesut Ozil was creating chance after chance, but too often an attack of Giroud and Walcott was failing to finish its chances.
Arsene Wenger has revealed that in that summer, Arsenal offered Vardy “a lot of money” to sign. For a while, it seemed like a done deal. All the rumours suggested more or less everything had been agreed and it was a matter of time. Considering Kante had already left and Mahrez was rumoured with a departure as well, I’m sure it was quite a tempting offer from Vardy.
However, the move never materialised. Despite Arsenal’s huge offer, Leicester realised the importance of their talisman and offered him a longer contract with “approximately the same money if not more”.
Some at the time said that it would not be a good fit for Arsenal, but Wenger disagreed.
“He is always in the game,” Wenger added. “He doesn’t look like he mentally gets out of the game and the great strikers are like that. It means he will score at some stage. Even when he misses a chance he stays in the game.
“It is true we had more of the ball, but I think around the box, the timing of his runs and the way he finds the space make him what he is. When you see the big strikers, they are on the move in the box when others stand still in the box. He has those things.
“They read the game earlier than others, they anticipate better, they understand quicker than other people what is going on.”
It is such a shame that we did not get the deal done. It was during the period where we had some of the best creative players in the league, but nobody took the chances. Imagine an attack of Alexis, Ozil and Vardy. Considering how long Vardy has been able to keep going, it would have been one of the best pieces of business we could have done.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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