Arsene Wenger announced that Arsenal offered Jamie Vardy “a lot of money” to sign for her in 2016 and insisted that the Leicester forward would have been a good fit for the club.
After inspiring Leicester to a shock title triumph in 2016, Vardy seemed sure to join Arsenal, who had been Leicester’s main title rivals that season the following summer.
Such a move never materialized when Vardy put a new deal on paper at Leicester, where he has remained a top scorer in every Premier League season. At least not for lack of Wenger’s side.
“I offered him a lot of money back then,” Wenger told beIN Sports. “Leicester had just won the championship in 2016 and they absolutely didn’t want to lose him and offered him a longer contract for about the same money, if not more.”
It was a potential engagement that raised many eyebrows at the time, and many felt Vardy would not suit Arsenal’s game-based style of play.
Wenger insisted, however, that Vardy possessed the qualities he admired in a striker that would have been a real asset to his Arsenal squad.
“He’s always in the game,” added Wenger. “He doesn’t look like he’s going to be mentally out of the game and the big strikers are like that. That means he’ll score one day. Even if he misses a chance, he’ll stay in the game.”
“It’s true we got more of the ball, but I think around the box, the timing of his runs and the way he finds the place make him who he is. When you see the great strikers “They’re in the box when others are still in the box. He’s got these things.”
“They read the game earlier than others, they expect it better, they understand what is going on faster than other people.”