Monday 5 December 2016

Vardy would have walked into Arsenal side had he joined in summer - Gary Lineker

Published 12/09/2016 | 22:36

Gary Lineker landed in hot water over his comments on child refugees
Gary Lineker landed in hot water over his comments on child refugees

Jamie Vardy would have walked into the Arsenal side had he opted to join them this summer, according to Gary Lineker.

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The Leicester striker was a top target for Gunners manager Arsene Wenger this summer and weighed up a move to the Emirates prior to England's Euro 2016 campaign.

However, the 29-year-old instead signed a new contract with the Premier League champions, to the delight of BT Sport presenter and former Foxes favourite Lineker.

"It was a big moment, and it was a very surprising moment," said Lineker. "I thought it said a lot about him as well.

"It's not all about the big pay day and stuff - especially at this time in his career as it was perhaps his one and only chance of moving to a bigger club. It was a really significant moment.

"It spoke a lot about him and the club and the fact there are ambitions at Leicester."

Some felt Vardy's game time would be limited had he moved to north London, but Lineker added: " I think he'd walk into Arsenal's team. Have you seen their centre-forwards?

"They're fine but they're not as prolific as Vardy. They are not as quick as Vardy and they don't give you the options Vardy does. Olivier Giroud is a certain kind of target man. He will get his one goal in three or whatever it is.

"Lucas Perez, who they've brought in, I quite like but he's not going to be as prolific as Vardy. All players believe they will start anyway if they've got anything about them. You can tell Vardy is full of confidence."

Yet while they hung on to Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, Lineker feels the loss of N'Golo Kante to Chelsea has hit manager Claudio Ranieri hard.

The Foxes make their Champions League debut against FC Bruges on Wednesday night, and Lineker is making no wagers on their chances this time after having to present Match of the Day in his underpants after their shock title win.

"Leicester against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich? Realistically, if they had kept that team from last season together you'd still have said no chance," he said.

"Now they are without Kante as well, of course they have got no chance. But I'm not going to make any silly promises. Even though it worked last season I will not be doing that again!"

::BT Sport is the only place to watch all four major football competitions in one place, with exclusively live coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the Emirates FA Cup. Watch Leicester versus Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League exclusively live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm on Wednesday September 14.

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