The news of Arsenal meeting the release clause of Jamie Vardy has caused quite a stir on Twitter, with many caught off guard by Arsene Wenger’s uncharacteristic willingness to spend so early in the summer, having already acquired the services of Granit Xhaka a few days earlier.
Jamie Vardy, who joined Leicester City from non-League Fleetwood Town in 2012, had recently signed a three-and-a-half year contract, which reportedly has a release clause in the region of £20 million for teams in the Champions League.
Many Arsenal fans are more than happy seeing the English striker join the Gunners, and one fan, in particular, has given his blessing. Piers Morgan, that is.
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However, does Vardy really fit the bill at Arsenal?
Not even a madman could have predicted the fairy tale rise of the Sheffield Wednesday reject.
Going from the Non-League to the Championship is one thing, but winning the Premier League, and subsequently being named Footballer of the Year, is another thing altogether.
What Vardy can offer Arsenal is some serious pace, tenacity, and ruggedness in attack. Arsene Wenger once stated that European players lack a fighting attitude nowadays due to the demise of street football.
However, the Leicester striker is an exception. He has learnt to fight while playing non-league football and playing in the Championship, which is known to be physical in nature.
When the chips are down, players like Vardy can really conjure something out of nothing purely through their tenacity. Alexis Sanchez is a very similar player in that regard. He, like Vardy, doesn’t give a defender a moment’s peace.
The two of them could work in tandem to harass opposition defences and help Arsenal play a lot higher. The creative players at Arsenal can put balls in behind defenders with Vardy as a striker.
Theo Walcott is a player very similar to Vardy in terms of physical stature and speed. However, Walcott is simply too nice to play as a centre-forward. He gets bullied too often.
However, Vardy isn’t getting any younger. He will turn 30 in January next year, and a striker’s output often deteriorates as he gets older - unless you are Manchester United bound Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Antonio Di Natale.
Furthermore, it is quite a risk to invest £20-odd million in a player who has had just one great season.
What Arsenal really need is a striker in the mould of Robert Lewandowski, who can just about do anything - a complete forward. Vardy is more of a poacher, while Olivier Giroud is a target man.
Danny Welbeck is the closest Arsenal have got to someone like that, but he now faces a long layoff due to injury, keeping him sidelined for at least nine months.
Going after a striker with a proven record, or who has many years ahead of him might be a shrewder option. Players like Edinson Cavani, Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema are roughly the same age as Vardy, but have proven track records and would represent a safer option.
However, they might not come cheap, but, that is the price you pay for consistency.
All in all, Wenger should pursue other targets as it would be too risky an investment. Jamie Vardy is a fantastic striker but he won't improve Arsenal dramatically.
Are Arsenal targeting the wrong striker in Jamie Vardy? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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