Spurs icon reveals he could have joined Arsenal

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Gary Lineker became a Tottenham Hotspur icon during his time at White Hart Lane.

Now a broadcaster, it’s often forgotten just how good the former striker was when he was playing.

Across a storied career, Lineker played for Leicester City, Everton, Barcelona, Spurs, and Nagoya Grampus Eight, while also making a significant impact for England.

He moved to Spurs in 1989, the north London club paying £1.1m to snaffle him away from the Catalan club.

And he went on to make 105 appearances for the club, scoring 67 goals, and lifting the FA Cup in 1991.

Lineker, of course, scored twice in the famous semi-final against Arsenal, which is perhaps better remembered for Paul Gascoigne’s astonishing long-range free-kick.

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But it has now emerged that he could have been wearing red, rather than white, that day at Wembley.

Speaking to The Sun, Lineker has confirmed that the Gunners were interested, but they did not make a substantial enough offer to beat Spurs to his signature.

He said: "It was 1989, a year before the World Cup, so I thought I was perhaps better off going back to England.

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

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

"But (Gunners then-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."

Lineker also went on to play a key role in England’s run to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This is unthinkable for a lot of Spurs fans.

If you’re a certain age, you’ll remember the amazing turn of pace that Lineker had, the unerring finishing ability, the brilliant link-up with Gazza for both club and country.

Had he moved to Arsenal, perhaps they would have won that 1991 semi-final, as Lineker was the difference.

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He says “thank heavens” that he ended up at Spurs, and one has to imagine a number of supporters saying the same.

Thinking of him at Arsenal is just… wrong.

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