On Friday, news surfaced that Arsenal were very interested in swooping Leicester City striker, Jamie Vardy. The North London club's £20 million pound bid was enough to trigger Vardy's release clause, meaning the decision is now up to the player.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri even admitted to the Italian media that "It's all true" what is being said about Jamie. It has also been revealed that Vardy has a scheduled medical exam on Sunday in Arsenal, and possible negotiations for a contract are slated to follow. While Ranieri remains desperately hopeful that Vardy will stay, it is starting to become apparent that he is preparing for life after Vardy
But just why Arsenal? The whole move itself doesn't truly make sense. While the deal for Vardy is an absolute steal and would probably make Arsenal the odds-on favorite to win the league, Vardy's move to the Gunners wouldn't really suit the striker. Let's look at how it would effect all involved.
Arsene Wenger currently has six strikers on the squad list, and the recent addition of Granit Xhaka has made this team a dangerous contender. In a lineup full of superstars, Vardy likely wouldn't thrive. It is likely however that Vardy would be used in a reserve role, slotting behind Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, and even the young Alex Iwobi.
The only plausible explanation for Arsenal wanting to sign Vardy would be to use him as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez if the Chilean international were to leave. Still, Vardy isn't a true winger. Sure, England manager Roy Hodgson has used him there, but it's obvious Vardy is more comfortable as a striker.
For Arsenal, Vardy would provide a threat in the penalty area for two reasons: drawing penalties and his clinical finishing. Arsenal drew two penalties all last season while Vardy himself drew seven. In addition, the London side don't score with vigor and Vardy could help change that.
However, teams tend to defend more at the Emirates Stadium by having a compact backline and "parking the bus." Vardy would find difficulty opening opponents up and it would make his scoring touch dissipate.
Contrary to Arsenal, Leicester have very few strikers on the roster. If Vardy were to leave, only two would remain: Shinji Okazaki, Leo Ulloa. The pair, while skilled, are nowhere near as talented or as quick as Vardy. If he were to choose Arsenal, Leicester would undoubtedly sign CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa who plays a similar style to the Englishman.
There has also been interest in Torino/Dortmund/Sevilla striker Ciro Immobile. Leicester would certainly try to add more depth to a depleted striker core, and Immobile could be the player to fill a reserve role for the Foxes.
If Vardy is to stay, Leicester would probably still sign one of Immobile or Musa, look to get similar production out of Vardy next season, and use the striker at his primary and best position.
England National Team
Vardy to Arsenal would allow Roy Hodgson to enjoy the fact that his striker is likely being deployed, giving him more versatility. However, less playing time would mean less opportunity for Vardy to showcase his talent. That said, he may see his England caps start to drop with the possible infrequent playing time for Arsenal.
If he remained at Leicester, however, Vardy would continue to be the center of attention which would help his England chances. As his partnership with Tottenham's Harry Kane continues to grow, Vardy could enjoy international success as England prepare for the 2018 World Cup.
With Leicester City stripped of its star player, the complexion of the league would return closer to normal: bigger clubs with the most money winning titles by buying stars from around the league. While it's sad that football has become a game of money, Leicester's championship made fans and pundits think otherwise, at least temporarily.
Jamie Vardy has a very important decision to make here. Does he stay with Leicester or make the move to a 'big club' like Arsenal? Certainly not an easy choice. But given the aforementioned circumstances, it would definitely be hard for Vardy to walk away from the Foxes...but not unlikely either.
Personally, I believe Vardy will be wise enough to choose Leicester, as it is the club that suits him best. Money talks and Arsenal could help make Vardy even more enticing. Moral of the story: only the man himself will know what's best for him. The choice is yours, Jamie. Choose wisely.