When Arsenal take on Leicester City at the Emirates on Monday night, Jamie Vardy is almost certain to start for Claude Puel’s side, yet he could have so easily been lining up for the home team instead.
Keen to add a prolific striker to his squad in an attempt to win the club’s first Premier League title since 2004, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made a move for Vardy during the 2016 summer transfer window only for the 31-year-old to turn down a move to north London (via Sky Sports).
Having seen Vardy fire Leicester to an unlikely Premier League title triumph in the 2015/16 season, some Arsenal supporters would have been disappointed to see the retired England international snub their club.
However, missing out on the Leicester No.9 has been nothing short of a blessing in disguise for the north London side.
Two years on from Vardy’s rejection, and Arsenal now have two of the best strikers in the league in Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Signing the Foxes forward may have blocked the path to one if not both of the strikers arriving at the Emirates.
Luckily for Unai Emery and the Arsenal faithful, though, the club do have both men at their disposal with the pair having played major parts in the promising start the Gunners have made to the season in this post-Wenger era.
And while the Frenchman struggled to get the elite No.9s into the starting XI together, Emery has had no such problems.
Under the new Arsenal boss, Lacazette and Aubameyang are beginning to form a real partnership which consists of them creating chance after chance for each other.
The two look as if they have a telepathic connection and, if they can keep their goal-scoring exploits up, there is no reason why Arsenal cannot claim a spot back in the top four.
Vardy has shown in recent seasons that he has the goal-scoring ability to play for one of the Premier League elite; there is no doubt he would have been a shrewd acquisition for Arsenal.
But with Lacazette and Aubameyang now at the club, the Gunners can put their failed pursuit of Vardy behind them.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!