Premier League top scorer Jamie Vardy came close to becoming a £30,000 signing at Oldham Athletic, former manager Paul Dickov has told Omnisport.
Vardy’s 18 goals in the top-flight have stunningly fired Leicester City to the top of the table, a position they will defend in Saturday’s early kick-off at Manchester City.
Dickov, a cult hero at both clubs due to his all-action playing style, has long been a keen admirer of the England international and was close to signing him from non-league Halifax Town during his tenure as Oldham manager.
But the 43-year-old revealed that the Boundary Park club were unable to find the funds to snare Vardy for a tiny fraction of the price his goal heroics would command on today’s market.
“I remember watching Jamie Vardy five years ago, we went and scouted him when I was Oldham manager and he was at Halifax,” Dickov said.
“We actually came very close to buying him but the club didn’t have the funds to stump up the £30,000, as it was at the time.
“Even back then, we watched him six or seven times, he had a massive influence on the team – the way he closed down, the way he chased, the way he harried.
“And he could always score goals. Throughout his career, regardless of what level he’s played at, he’s done it.
“He’s got a real hunger and a real enthusiasm about his game that is infectious to the team.”
While Vardy’s rise to the top level from the lower divisions has been somewhat meteoric, Sergio Aguero is an established presence among the game’s elite strikers.
Manchester City’s Argentina star has 12 goals in his past 10 Premier League appearances as he prepares to go head-to-head with Leicester and Vardy, and Dickov is a keen admirer.
“I’ve got a bit of a man-crush on him. I absolutely love him,” he explained.
“I go down to City and watch him a lot. I can just watch him for 90 minutes – his movement, his pace, his technical ability.
“He’s got everything and I put him right up there. People talk about [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo; when Aguero is fit and he’s had a run of games in him, he’s definitely in the top three in the world for me.”