Over a month ago now just before the start of the European Championships, Sky Sports announced that Arsenal had activated Jamie Vardy’s £20 million release clause in his Leicester contract. It came as quite a surprise at the time, in a move that would see him switch sides in the Premier League.
After a very successful season for Vardy, the Englishman was a much wanted man and it looked as if Arsenal had beaten other clubs to his signature by activating the release clause right at the start of the window. Vardy however wanted time to think about the move and eventually during the Euro’s, the 29 year old decided to reject Arsenal in favour of staying at Leicester. Vardy also signed a new deal with the foxes, which saw his weekly wage increase to a rumoured £100,000.
Many fans were left to engage in debate after Vardy’s rejection, with some fans pleased the Gunners didn’t sign him due to various reasons, whilst others were left frustrated. There were a few rumours flying around about why he rejected the Gunners, from playing time guarantees to wage demands. However now Vardy’s manager Claudio Ranieri, has spoken to the media about why Vardy truly rejected Arsenal football club.
Ranieri said: “Maybe it is because he started from the bottom and now we are his family. It is the first time in the Champions League too and he wants to stay together. I am very happy. He enjoys it a lot here – he is a king and he is happy. Thank you to him and his family because it was important.”
What Ranieri says is a very fair point and in the eyes of the player I can see why Vardy has chosen to stay at Leicester and become a legend, rather than have a last ditch hurrah at Arsenal. Vardy may not be on as high wages (although at £100,000 per week at Leicester, I’m sure he wouldn’t be on much more at Arsenal) and he may not have quite the same success and likelihood challenging for the league once again this year, but is Arsenal really a tempting offer for Vardy. At 29, I can see why he wants to stay at Leicester and he’ll hope that history repeats itself in the upcoming season, because Vardy has a real opportunity to become a club legend.
At Arsenal there was no guarantees he would be a regular starter, if he’d play in his preferred position and if he’d even adapt to Arsenal’s style of play. With those considerations in mind, I don’t think Vardy would’ve seen Arsenal as a highly attractive option and so perhaps the Englishman was right to reject the Gunners’ approach.
The bad news of course remains with Arsenal, who after Vardy’s rejection, are still without an experienced signing up front.