In the build up to Arsenal facing the reigning Premier League champions Leicester City at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger was asked by the football press about his transfer bid for the Foxes striker Jamie Vardy last summer, and how much he regrets the decision of the England international to turn down a move to the Gunners.
The Frenchman did not want to go into too much detail, as the Arsenal website reported, but put it down to a normal part of his job, but you have to assume that he was a little surprised that Arsenal could not attract a player who came from the lower league and who probably has just a few years left at the the peak of his game.
Wenger said, “Transfers, successful or not successful, are part of it. You accept you are in a job where you have to accept the decisions of the players and he made that decision, that I respect completely. After, you move forward and you look at something else.
“It was one of the strikers we had [in our mind] but when you come to a big club you cannot guarantee [being the main striker] to anybody.”
Vardy had a very slow start to the new season as the team struggled to reach the heights of last year, but the new Foxes’ boss Craig Shakespeare thinks that Vardy is back in top form, and was not affected by Wenger’s bid for him in the summer. “Thankfully he chose us and I don’t think it [the Arsenal interest] was the reason for the slow start because he wasn’t the only one,” Shakespeare said. “At the moment, he’s banging in the goals and we need that to continue from now to the end of the season.
“I’m reluctant to say he’s back to his absolute best as I want more from him, but his goalscoring of late has been very good. I think strikers go through purple patches, then there are the dark times when whatever they hit doesn’t go in. Now you see a player full of confidence and full of running, we need a Jamie Vardy threatening defenders, getting on the shoulders and being a goal threat as well.”
In the same Arsenal article, Wenger also spoke about Olivier Giroud and the Arsenal transfer rumours linking him to the French club Marseille, declaring that he had not been contacted and that he wanted the big centre forward to stay. “I have had no approach from Marseille and we want to keep Olivier Giroud at the club,” said Wenger. So does that mean that he is not looking to make a big striker signing this summer?
I would hope not and be surprised if that was the case, but I wonder if the boss is thinking of trying again for Vardy. We know that he is a fan or he would not have bid last summer, and Wenger would not have to win the jackpot at a real money casino to get him this summer as the price should be greatly reduced, considering that Vardy is now 30 and has only scored 11 League goals in the current campaign. I also think that as much as Wenger may regret Vardy’s decision not to come to Arsenal last season, the player probably does even more so and may well be more willing to come to north London this summer after the problems Leicester have had this year.
Do you think Arsenal should try to sign Vardy again?