Sunday, May 28, 2017

Wright: No one would have touched Kante and Co.

SoccerNews in English Premier League 3 May 2016

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Arsenal great Ian Wright says not one team between his former side, Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea would have touched a Leicester City player before the start of the season.

Leicester were confirmed as champions after Tottenham drew 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday, completing one of the greater sporting rags-to-riches stories ever seen.

But Wright has suggested the big clubs have allowed this to happen by focusing too much on player pedigree rather than their talents, saying that if given free choice of anyone from Leicester, none of the established clubs would have taken any of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez or N’Golo Kante.

“So picture the scene … it’s a sunny pre-season day at Stamford Bridge, the Etihad, Old Trafford or the Emirates,” he told The Sun.

“The manager is presented with a list of Leicester’s first-team squad and told: ‘Take your pick, any of those players and they’re yours.’

“What do you think the answer would have been?

“How many would have bitten your hand off for Wes Morgan, Marc Albrighton, Danny Simpson or Danny Drinkwater?

“Even Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez or N’Golo Kante – the unlikeliest top three for the Footballer of the Year award you’ll ever see – would probably have been left untouched.

“There is every chance each one of the pre-season favourites would have said: ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’

“Probably not the greatest of shocks, either, given Leicester were then 5,000-1 for the title.”

That has all changed now.

“Fast forward nine months and you are watching the most incredible, jaw-dropping story the football gods have ever conjured up,” Wright added.

“This is a team which cost less to assemble than Christian Benteke, Marouane Fellaini or Eliaquim Mangala.”

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