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The Gunners boss admits he is keen to unearth lower league gems after signing a scout from Leicester City who spotted the striker when he was at Fleetwood Town

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are on the lookout for the next Jamie Vardy after signing scout Ben Wrigglesworth from Leicester City.

Wrigglesworth joined the Gunners backroom staff this week after spending over three years with the Foxes, where he was head of technical scouting.

And Wenger hopes the change will help his team identify hidden gems such as Vardy, who has shone in a meteoric rise to the top of the Premier League with Leicester and will be hoping to impress again against Arsenal when they meet on Sunday.


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“We try to get the best people in every department and the Leicester scout was on our list, not just because they are top of the league but because we heard about his quality and we want the best," Wenger said of the signing.

“Yes, of course [we want the next Vardy].

“If a scout comes to convince me that this is a player of exceptional quality at that level I will take a gamble. They are out there - stars in non-League football.”

Vardy has risen through the leagues, having played for Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood town over five years before he joined Leicester, with whom he won the Championship and is currently the top scorer in the Premier League with 18 goals.

And Wenger feels the long journey to the top has its own reward for a player and feels it gives them a different hunger than those who have spent their entire career at a high level.

“The hunger index is sometimes built by the difficulty of realising your dream and are developed by that,” he said.

“I believe that sometimes, when you start at 18 years of age on the red carpet, it can make you think ‘That is normal. That is easy’.

“A player who starts and has been educated at Arsenal starts in the Champions League for the last 20 years. He doesn’t know what it is to fight every week just to make his position in his team and to win the game.

“These kind of players from the lower leagues, once they come up, they have watched on television to Champions League or Premier League and once they are in there, they are ready for a fight.

"It develops the hunger.”

 

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