The news that Arsenal have triggered Leicester’s £20m release clause for Jamie Vardy has come as a bit of a surprise and that’s putting it mildly. Who would have thought that Arsene Wenger would look to buy British again after innumerable disappointments?
When I think of success in bringing in Brits, I’m thinking of Sol Campbell, but who else can Wenger say has cut the mustard at Arsenal? Richard Wright was a high-profile signing and look how that worked out. Calum Chambers may go on to be successful, but so far the jury’s out. Theo Walcott is a favourite of mine, but he’s not been the outstanding crowd pleaser that many hoped he’d be. Oxlade-Chamberlain has played through injury in fits and starts without reaching the highest heights that most people expected.
Meanwhile, Wenger’s record at bringing in foreign players who have gone on to be successful in English football is almost second to none. Names trip of the tongue: Alexis Sanchez being one of the most recent.
Therefore, I see this move by Arsenal as a possible attempt to upset a Premier League rival. It reminds me of when the Gunners bid for Suarez. It stopped Liverpool going on to be Champions the following season by successfully unsettling their best player.
To me, this bid for Vardy cannot be taken seriously. I cannot see him fitting into the current Arsenal set-up, although on the other hand, he could be a modern day Ian Wright, with his hunger for the game and goals. Wenger may be best advised sticking to the foreign transfer market, which is where he has had most of his success.