According to reports from Sky Sports, Jamie Vardy could be on the verge of completing a £20million move to Arsenal from Premier League champions Leicester City.
The Gunners have activated a release clause in his contract meaning only a medical and personal terms need to be agreed.
It seems the majority of Arsenal fans are against the move, despite the fact that the Gunners have been looking for a new striker for what seems like forever.
Impressive last season
The performance of 29-year-old Jamie Vardy in Leicester’s title winning campaign was one of the keys to the Foxes incredible success. His 24 goal top-flight goals and six assists were impressive, especially as he had not really made that much of an impact in the previous campaign.
A key to Vardy’s improvement in form was that he was switched from a right-wing position to a more central role, from where he thrived and more than proved his worth. His movement and pace caused most defences problems.
His sheer work-rate and the fact that he will not give any ball up helped the Foxes become a team that opposition hated playing against. In a season of surprises Vardy’s performance was just as much of a surprise as Leicester’s title success.
His performances had reportedly attracted the attention of a number of big clubs, including the likes of Manchester United and incredibly Real Madrid at one stage. His performances also led to a call-up to the England national side and he is part of the Euro 2016 squad. Vardy and co are currently odds of 17/2 to win the competition.
Not a consistent scorer at the top level
Arsenal fans have been looking for the club to sign a proven goalscorer at the highest level. They have been hoping for a high-profile replacement for much-maligned French striker Olivier Giroud.
The names of the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Edison Cavani have been bandied around by fans. In truth though most of the stories regarding those forwards are myths to sell newspapers and fill space on websites (Sorry!).
Those players are all proven goal scorers in top European leagues, but obstacles stand in Arsenal’s way to sign them, mostly their clubs being unwilling to sell and slapping giant price tags on their prize assets heads.
They should be realistic targets for a club the size of Arsenal, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will not sign a player unless he believes he will prove value for money. In these days of crazy transfer fees that may be why Arsenal have not won the Premier League in over a decade.
Arsenal’s fans are obviously worried that Vardy is 29 and has just one good season of goal scoring behind him in the top-flight. To use an analogy Arsenal fans want a beauty queen, but they are getting a plain Jane.
However, sometimes the plain Jane is the one that is better for you and gives you a better time than the stuck up beauty queen. In short Vardy may not be pretty, but boy is he effective in front of goal.
Big decision for Vardy
Jamie Vardy was playing non-league football just five years ago and here he is in the England squad and on the verge of moving to one of English football’s traditional powerhouses.
However, it is a decision that the striker will need to make carefully. He is regarded as a hero at Leicester following last season’s title win. He is a big fish in a small pond in the Midlands and a move to north London would make him a small fish in a far bigger pond.
If Vardy stays he has a lot going for him at Leicester. The Foxes will be in the Champions League next season and he has just signed an improved deal at the King Power Stadium. The team also plays to his strengths.
A move to Arsenal would mean doubts about first team football, as it is debatable whether he would be considered an upgrade in quality to Giroud. They are different players, who have their own talents.
Joining Arsenal would again mean another pay increase and the prospect of playing Champions League on a regular basis, as we do not know how Leicester will fare next season.
Jamie Vardy playing for Arsenal would complete what has been a fantastic phoenix from the ashes of a rise for the striker. However a move to a bigger club may be a gamble for the striker as well as for the Gunners.
Is signing Jamie Vardy a gamble for Arsenal?