Former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has opened up on his regret after turning down the chance to sign Jamie Vardy in 2012.
Speaking on talkSPORT with Alan Brazil (via HITC Sport), Allardyce has admitted that he turned down the opportunity to sign Vardy. David Sullivan and Allardyce met to discuss this potential transfer and decided against it.
Fleetwood Town manager Mickey Mellon was demanding £1m for the non-league striker. The Hammers had their reservations about signing a player from that level and they decided to leave it.
The 26-cap England striker’s story has been well-documented since then. Vardy has scored 90 goals in 187 Premier League appearances. He was the catalyst behind their shock Premier League title win a few years back.
Allardyce: ‘I’ve been kicking myself ever since’
Allardyce told talkSPORT listeners (via HITC Sport): “Micky Mellon rang up and said ‘give us £1 million, it will be the best signing you’ve ever made’. I tell you now, that was quite a lot of money for a non-league player then.
“I just wondered whether Jamie could jump out of the Conference. So, I didn’t do it. I went to David Sullivan and he went; ‘non-league player, a million pounds? Will he go straight in your team?’. I’ve been kicking myself ever since.”
Vardy could have been a West Ham player and Allardyce was left thinking what could have been. Given his relentless running and commendable work ethic, Vardy would have been the perfect fit as a second striker under Allardyce.