If there is one person on this earth who has lived and breathed the very mantra of never giving up, it’s former Arsenal star Ian Wright.
The ex-striker was a marvel in the red and white at Highbury, scoring as many as 185 times in 288 outings for the Gunners.
That record puts him second only to Thierry Henry on Arsenal’s list of all-time goal scorers.
However, the move to north London came relatively late in his career. Wrighty as he’s become affectionately known was a late bloomer, as he laid down the foundations for the Jamie Vardy’s of this world to show that no matter how old you are, there is always more potential to be extracted.
When it comes to players who found their touch late into their career, Wright and Vardy are two of the most famous examples of the Premier League era.
Back in March, the Leicester forward overtook the former with 94 goals after turning 30 – the most out of any player who has played Premier League football.
They both have Arsenal in common too, although Vardy’s association is that of rejection, with the jovial attacker once turning them down.
But what, I hear you ask, is the relevance to this in the modern-day?
Well, Wright joined Arsenal from Crystal Palace and this summer, the Gunners could raid their fellow Londoners again.
They have previously been interested in a deal for Wilfried Zaha but it’s not the Ivorian on their radar this time. Instead, it’s Michael Olise who has captured the interest of Arsenal according to reports.
Do you want Olise at Arsenal?
It’s a considerable sum of money but one Arsenal won’t be afraid to pay. After all, France and the Islington club go hand in hand after Arsene Wenger’s time in the English capital.
Although Olise is a winger by trade, a different position to Wright, there would be shades of the deal that Arsenal successfully completed to bring the latter to Highbury back in 1991.
Over 30 years later and Olise could become the club’s new Wright.
Scoring as many as the now television pundit would be quite the accomplishment but the Palace youngster has the same sort of swagger and confidence to his play.
He is a joy to watch and is learning the game from a certain Patrick Vieira. Wherever you look, the former Reading man is beginning to smell Arsenal and he’ll have certainly picked up a few of the club’s philosophies given his current manager.
Throughout the current campaign, the 20-year-old found the net on four occasions and registered nine assists in 32 games. It’s a fine record for someone who was playing at the highest level for the first time in his career.
So good have been his performances that he’s even earned the praise of Wright himself.
“When you watch what Zaha brings to the team, Wilf is what 29 now? Here you are talking about a youngster that has a massive future,” the former Gunner began.
“When you look at what he does in the final third. Go and do what you want. He is going to be somebody that is going to do unbelievable things,” Wright concluded.
Olise has earned further praise from Reading defender Tom McIntyre who hailed his “special ability” while Squawka writer Muhammad Butt called him a “wizard”. On that evidence, he’d be quite the capture for Mikel Arteta’s men.
Crucially, he’d also fit the club’s philosophy of buying young players who are yet to reach their ceiling.
Should the chance present itself, it would surely be a no brainer for Edu and co to bring the dazzling French star to north London.
As Wright eludes to, this is someone who is going places within the world of football.
AND in other news, Signed at £6m, now worth £34m: Arsenal struck gold on gem with “a bit of Pires” to him…