He blew everyone away’… Ian Wright says £14m player amazed everyone when he signed for Arsenal

Arsenal legend Ian Wright saw a lot of players come and go during his brilliant seven years playing for the club.

Arriving under George Graham’s stewardship, Wright left a couple of years after Arsene Wenger’s arrival at the club.

Wright won a Premier League title with Arsenal, two FA Cups and one League Cup, he certainly played during an exciting era for the club.

So when Ian Wright says that one of his former Arsenal teammates ‘blew everyone away’ when he arrived, you know that’s not an exaggeration.

It would certainly take a lot to do so, but when Patrick Vieira arrived in 1996, Wright and his teammates were simply amazed.

The Arsenal players initially thought Vieira must be a centre-back because of his size, but his debut against Sheffield Wednesday showed them otherwise.

Wright was speaking on ‘The Rest Is Football’ podcast and had fond memories of the Arsenal legend.

Ian Wright says Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira made an immediate impact
Wright said: “I remember when Vieira came in, his first game someone got injured and he came on as substitute.

“We were playing Sheffield Wednesday and he just blew everyone away.

“When Patrick came because of his size everyone thought he was a centre-half.

“When he was training he would be training just knocking it about. But when he went into midfield we hadn’t seen anything like that.

That particular game the fans and everyone realised, we have got something.”

Remind you of someone?
Without getting too carried away, perhaps £14m Patrick Vieira’s impact could be compared to that of Declan Rice.

Rice has a long, long way to go to become an Arsenal legend, but Ian Wright has often praised him to a similar level.

The England midfielder looks to be the strongest signing in Arsenal’s recent history, perhaps the best since Arsene Wenger departed.

If Arsenal are to turn their form around this season and mount a title charge once again, then Rice will be pivotal.

Perhaps he would benefit from the arrival of another midfielder, with one Premier League target now keen to join.

But either way, Rice definitely has the tools to drive Mikel Arteta’s team forward.

And on the subject of praise for Patrick Vieira, Nwankwo Kanu has now named the best player he ever played alongside at Arsenal.

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