Legendary Arsenal striker admits he wanted Chelsea move

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Legendary Arsenal striker Ian Wright has revealed he pushed to leave Arsenal for Chelsea but the transfer was blocked by Arsenal.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Wright said: “Yes [I could have joined Chelsea], under Glenn Hoddle. It was that year that I had with Bruce Rioch that was a real tough one.

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“I handed in a transfer request by the time it got to a serious point because I genuinely thought I was leaving. Arsenal don’t sack managers and obviously George Graham went.

“After Bruce Rioch came in, after the first year, we literally argued every day and I thought I should just leave, as there was no way Arsenal were going to get rid of him and something was going to happen between us, so I put that transfer request in, they refused it, it all went up in the air and in the end, I was in touch with Chelsea.

“It would have been a big mistake for me to leave at that stage with everything that happened with me at Arsenal. I ended up winning the league, got the top goal-scorer in Arsenal’s history before, obviously, Thierry [Henry] broke it.

“It wouldn’t have been a good way to leave. I know, down the years, many people have left football clubs because they haven’t been able to get on with the manager, but I have just got to give thanks to the likes of David Dein, and the Arsenal board, at the time, who realised that, for me, [appointing Rioch] was a mistake.

“It wasn’t working out. I was very vocal in that and a lot of the other players were vocal when it suited them. I didn’t mind letting him know what I felt and in the end, he went.”

Wright scored 185 goals in 288 games for Arsenal.

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