Thursday, 9 June 2016

Arsenal bid puts Vardy's Euro 2016 fairytale at risk

Just what are Arsenal playing at with this Jamie Vardy shambles?

Not only are they unsettling an England player in the run-up to a major tournament but they risk wrecking their top transfer target’s chance of a lifetime.

Arsenal bid £20million for the Leicester striker on on Friday June 6 and he is clearly considering what would be a massive move for him.

Now he approaches Saturday's Euro 2016 clash against Russia with his head in a spin and that probably counts him out of Roy Hodgson's starting plans - for the opener at least.

Stories like Vardy's come along once in a generation.

He has come from playing in the non-league with Fleetwood to winning the Premier League in the space of four years. 

He now has the opportunity to put the icing on the cake with a memorable display in France but it is under threat if this Arsenal saga continues.

Why on earth did Arsene Wenger and Co find it an acceptable move while he is on England duty?

They might have been looking to get their business done before the Euros - fearing that Vardy might attract even bigger suitors if he shines in France.

But the 24-goal Foxes forward has hardly sidled into view in the last few weeks - he broke Ruud van Nistelrooy's Prem scoring record of 11 straight games back in November. 

A host of big clubs will have been tracking him since then at least and, when it became clear his new deal at the KP contained a get-out clause, that interest will have gone into overdrive. 

Could the Gunners not have made their move the day after the Premier League finished? 

The Emirates club will argue that they expected an answer before England boarded the plane and that it should all have been neatly tied up before the Euros.

That's nonsense. How can you expect a newly married guy to make such a life changing decision in a matter of days? 

Especially when he is about to complete his fairytale season by pulling on the England jersey at a summer finals.

What the whole situation demonstrates is just how desperate Wenger is.

He has been ruthlessly panned by his own fans for lacking in attack and dithering over deals that never come off but in rushing this one, it could backfire big-time.

Ironically in trying to move quickly and be decisive, he will look even more stupid - Arsenal will not come up smelling of roses if they get snubbed by a Leicester striker. 

And they'll look even worse if the front man they are all complaining about, Olivier Giroud, goes on to win the golden boot at the Euros - get your money on it folks.

You have to ask if it is really a sensible move for Vardy anyway. 

The 29-year-old may have hit eight more goals than Giroud, also 29, last season but he is not exactly in the Arsenal blueprint.

Vardy has thrived in a counter-attacking side, getting in behind defences and enjoying enough time to pick his spot while running at pace. 

In Arsenal's fast flowing possession-based system he will be expected to press, drag players out of position and link up closely with team-mates in well-practiced training ground moves. 

Or, more likely, he will be used as an impact sub when Arsenal need to kill off a game on the counter.

That means he goes from main man under Ranieri, playing week in week out, to a handful of minutes each month under Wenger.

It takes him from possible England starter to fringe player and has to be seen as a step backwards for a guy who has been moving forwards at pace for four years. 

That may be something Vardy has thought of and that he is ready for. Fair enough. Or it could be a dilemma he will spend the Euros wrestling over.

But for Arsenal, surely putting his England dream under threat is not the way to seal the deal. And you cannot imagine Hodgson being too impressed either.

At least if the Three Lions do flop in France, in Wenger we have an early contender for a scapegoat.

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