Over the past few days, Arsenal have shown keen interest in Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy, triggering the England International’s buyout clause at £20m. The Premier League winner, who scored 24 goals in the league last season, still has not decided on his future. At 29 years of age, it is hard to believe that he will get another opportunity like this. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has received praise for finally getting within the thick of the transfer scene, with him opting to not spend money on players in the past. Having already bought Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka from the Bundesliga, this is a clear assumption that the French manager is aiming for glory next season.
Many people have questioned whether or not Vardy will suit Arsenal’s brand of football. Particularly playing on the counter attack with the Foxes, the England striker was seen darting forward from long passes over the top of defences, using his blistering pace to get in behind. Leicester usually played without the ball quite often, which helped these chances happen. However, if he was to go to the Emirates, this may no longer be apparent in his game, as the Gunners like to play possession-based football. I still think the would score goals, but as he would no longer be in the spotlight in the team, it is hard to see him replicate the performances of last seasons campaign.
Style of football is one aspect, but competition for places is another. Having always been on the team sheet for Leicester, he would only miss out due to injury or suspension. If Wenger decides to use one lone striker, then he may turn to his beloved Frenchmen Olivier Giroud, who bagged 16 goals in the league last season. Other options including fellow Englishman Theo Walcott and Chile International Alexis Sanchez have also featured upfront, adding more work for Vardy to merit a place in the eleven.
Due to the more patient approach to Arsenal’s game plan, I do not think that Vardy will suit this style of play. He will guarantee goals, that’s for sure, but whether he reaches into the 20s again is another question. Of course, getting around the mid-teens could be beneficial, but maybe only if Giroud is partnered alongside him to push the goal tally up even more. This could be all that is required for Wenger to deliver a Premier League trophy for the first time in 12 years.
Since the announcement of Arsenal’s interest, a few of Vardy’s Leicester team mates have shown some persuasion for him to stay, with Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel hoping that he can play Champions League football with the striker next season. Having already signed a new three-year deal at the King Power, surely this is wear his heart really lies? With a reported £60,000-a-week deal signed in February, Vardy would go on to become a true legend of the club if he did decide to stay.
In my opinion, although this may be the only time a big club like Arsenal come calling, I would hope that he stays at least one more season with the champions, with the potential to cause all sorts of problems to Europe’s elite next campaign. Who knows, he may prove a huge role yet again for another potential surprise that the Foxes have up their sleeve.
Written by Joe Dutton
Sources: Goal, Independent and Sky Sports