Former Spurs striker admits delight at potential Arsenal move falling through

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Gary Lineker has admitted that he came close to joining Arsenal before Spurs came calling but insisted that he is pleased to have joined the lilywhite half of North London instead.

Lineker made 138 appearances for Tottenham over three-seasons, scoring 80 goals in all competitions for the club.

He was part of Tottenham’s FA Cup-winning team in 1990–91, the last time that Spurs managed to get their hands on the famous trophy.

Lineker was involved in some feisty North London derbies, including the famous 3-1 win over the Gunners’ in that season’s FA Cup semifinal.

While the game is remembered for Paul Gascoigne’s brilliant free-kick, it was Lineker who got Tottenham’s other two goals that afternoon.

The BBC MOTD presenter revealed that things could have turned out very differently for him had Arsenal paid the asking price to snap him up from Barcelona.

However, he admitted that he was happy that the move did not work out, given the career he went on to have with Tottenham over the years.

As quoted by The Daily Star, Lineker said: “It was 1989, a year before the World Cup (in Italy), so I thought I was perhaps better off going back to England (after Barcelona).

“I quite fancied living in London, and Arsenal were the best team at that time.

“I thought that would appeal, as they were a really good side.

“But (then-Arsenal manager) George Graham was famously quite tight and they got nowhere near the required rate.

“Then Tottenham came along and, thank heavens, I ended up with them.”

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