Arsenal made a move to sign Jamie Vardy in 2016 but Leicester, and Vardy himself, were unwilling to strike a deal; Vardy ended up signing a new contract and remains a pivotal figure for the Foxes; Arsene Wenger reveals Arsenal made Vardy a good offer and regrets not getting the deal done
Sunday 14 February 2021 09:44, UK
Arsene Wenger revealed that Arsenal offered Jamie Vardy "a lot of money" to sign for them in 2016, insisting the Leicester striker would have been a great fit at the club.
After inspiring Leicester to a shock title triumph in 2016, Vardy looked certain to move to Arsenal, who had been Leicester's main title rivals in that season, the following summer.
Such a move never materialised, however, with Vardy putting pen to paper on a new contract at Leicester, where he has remained one of the top goalscorers in each Premier League season. It was not for want of trying, on Wenger's part, at least.
"I offered him a lot of money at the time," Wenger told beIN Sports. "Leicester had just won the championship at the time in 2016, and they absolutely did not want to lose him and offered him a longer contract with approximately the same money if not more."
It was a potential signing that raised plenty of eyebrows at the time, with many feeling Vardy would not fit Arsenal's possession-based style of play.
Wenger, however, insisted Vardy possessed the attributes he admires in a striker, ones that would have been a real asset to his Arsenal side.
"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."