Saturday 23 September 2017 / 07:23 PM

VARDY AND THE ARSENAL DILEMMA

The word on the street is that Premier League winner Jamie Vardy is poised to join runners-up Arsenal before the start of next season, with the North London club having reportedly triggered his release clause on Friday.

A move from Vardy certainly represents ambition from the Gunners, given that Vardy was one of the key figures in Leicester City’s watershed EPL campaign, one of the league’s highest scorers and an expensive acquisition.

The question is, is it the right move for either party?

 

Should Arsenal sign Jamie Vardy?

Let’s make no bones about it, Jamie Vardy has had a magnificent season. Scoring 24 Premier League goals is impressive under any circumstances, but doing it whilst winning the title is another matter entirely.

However, for me, the question still remains over whether Vardy will have the same effect at another club. The possibility that this was just an annus mirabilis that will never materialise again is very much alive.

Let us consider Vardy’s goal records in previous seasons. In 2014/15, Vardy managed just eight goals in 34 appearances. The season before, it was 14 in 35. Not awful stats by anyone’s standards, but not the return of a play who is going to make ‘the difference’ to Arsenal.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that Vardy won’t do it again next season. All I’m saying is that the list of one-season wonders is a lot longer than the list of proven strikers who have done it time and time again in the Premier League. Lest we forget, there was much fanfare over Roque Santa Cruz and Francis Jeffers, and both turned out to be unable to perform at big clubs.

The same may not be true of Vardy, but should Arsenal decide that he’s the answer to their problems, there’s an awful lot of eggs being put inside a singular basket.

 

Should Jamie Vardy sign for Arsenal? 

If Arsenal decide to ignore my advice and resolve to follow through with their bid for Vardy, should the 29-year-old accept the offer?

My feeling is no. The argument for Vardy joining the Gunners is that this is the last opportunity he’ll have in his career for a big move, which is nonsensical. If Vardy has another exceptional season, he will be more in demand than ever, because, although 30 years old, he would have shown himself to be more than a one-season wonder.

Aside from the financial aspect, Vardy has everything to lose and little to gain by joining Arsenal.

Champions League football? He’ll get that at Leicester.

Premier League title? He’s already won it at Leicester, and he won’t win it at Arsenal.

Adulation from the fans? Already got it at Leicester, and it’s likely to be less fierce in London.

I simply can’t understand why Vardy would join Arsenal, and I also can’t really understand why Arsenal would sign Vardy. It’s potentially a match made in hell, and if it’s one that goes through, will certainly be the oddest move of this season’s transfer window.

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About the author

Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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