Arsenal have reportedly triggered the release clause of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy. While the £22 million clause has been met, Leicester City are still fighting to keep him at the King Power Stadium.
To everyone’s astonishment on Friday, news broke out that Arsenal had made a sensational bid for Leicester City front-man Jamie Vardy, triggering his release clause. BBC claimed the bid was made in the region of £20 million.
It’s no secret that Arsenal are in dire need of attacking options. With Olivier Giroud failing to hit the heights that were expected of him, and Danny Welbeck’s constant injury hassles, the London club have had to rely on the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and occasionally Theo Walcott to chip in with the strikes. While Giroud did finish the 2015/16 campaign as the leading goal scorer for his club, his tendency to go missing in big matches has been evident, making Arsene Wenger scratch his head in search for a replacement.
42 – Since signing, Alexis Sanchez has scored more goals for Arsenal than any other player in all competitions. Level.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 8, 2016
With the rise and rise of Jamie Vardy in Leicester’s title-winning season, Wenger may not have to look any further. The dynamic striker scored 24 goals in the Premier League, finishing only one goal off Harry Kane’s 25. The former had a better minutes to goal ratio, and if it weren’t for his suspension at the business end of the season, we may have seen a different Golden Boot winner.
Leading the lines for a Leicester side that played a counter-attacking brand of football, nothing was placed on a platter for Vardy, as he was expected to put in a lot for finding the back of the net. Riyad Mahrez was Vardy’s primary provider, but in games he didn’t perform, goals were hard to come by for the English maverick.
The situation back in London, at Arsenal, is completely different. A team known for its intricate passing drills and holding the ball for long spells, they play a completely contrasting style to that of Leicester’s. With the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey creating numerous chances for the front men, all that would be asked of Vardy is to apply the finishing touches.
While the Englishman went on a streak of scoring in 11 consecutive games this season, Giroud had a run of his own in the second half of the season, failing to find the back of the net in 16 straight games. In adding Vardy, Arsenal would be given a lethal presence inside the 18-yard-area, with a striker who is constantly on the move and making space for himself. He can link-up with German assist-machine Mesut Ozil, who would play just off the striker, and while Giroud failed to capitalize on the chances created by the German, Vardy’s composure may be all that Arsenal have been craving for.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 13, 2016
Vardy would be an immediate upgrade on Giroud
Here’s a head-to-head graphic between Jamie Vardy and Olivier Giroud, per Squawka:
The graphic above clearly shows that Vardy is a more viable option than the French forward. Giroud has attempted more chances, but his conversion rate is very low. Vardy is known to rise up to a challenge and his dominating physical frame and ability to run rings around the defence are characteristics that are missing from Giroud’s game. Signing the Leicester City striker would mean that Wenger’s team could score while controlling the game as well as on the break.
Riyad Mahrez has emerged as a transfer option for the Gunners
After tabling a bid for Vardy, Arsenal seem intent on bringing the other half of the formidable pairing to the Emirates. SkyBet has tipped Arsenal to be the Algerian’s next destination, with odds of 4/1. While no concrete interest has been shown by the London club, a move to the Emirates would make sense for the PFA Player of the Year.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 1, 2016
Mahrez scored 17 goals and recorded 11 assists this season. If Vardy was to make the transfer to the Emirates, Mahrez wouldn’t mind following his teammate. Their understanding in the league resulted in a stack of goals for the Foxes.
Here’s how he compares to Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, per Squawka:
With Alexis Sanchez shining down the left for Arsenal, Mahrez could be an apt option on the right flank. An attacking midfield trio, comprising of Sanchez, Ozil and Mahrez, is destined to wreak havoc among defences and with Vardy spearheading the attack, good times may be on their way for Arsene Wenger’s side.