I do not want to be too negative here, especially as just about every Arsenal fan in the world has been calling for Arsene Wenger to make the signing of a top class striker one of his transfer priorities of the summer. And with the Leicester City and England striker Jamie Vardy having just enjoyed a stellar campaign in the Premier League and being a lot of people’s choice for the Player of the Season, despite falling just short of picking up the golden boot, it seems churlish to be negative about the latest Arsenal transfer rumours.
In fact we should say that this is news rather than rumours, as sources as reliable as the BBC are reporting that Arsenal have already bid for the Foxes front man and that the £20 million we are said to have offered is enough to trigger a release clause in his contract.
If that is all true then the only things stopping Vardy from being an Arsenal player next season are his own wishes or some sort of unfeasible breakdown in contract talks. Great stuff for the Gunners then, or is it? I cannot help but have this feeling that Vardy may not be the right man for us.
I am not saying that he is not good enough or that he will be a one season wonder as some football experts are suggesting. My main issue is with how he will fit into the Arsenal system, which if we’re honest is just about the polar opposite of Leicester’s ‘soak up the pressure and break’ technique. It’s not just me either, as Sky Sports have already done a pice on whether he will suit our style.
With Arsenal generally expecting to face a deep and determined defence, how will we exploit the pace of Vardy? Will he be able to hold up the ball and bring other players into the game as Giroud does? Okay his finishing is great but he has to get into those chances and he might well struggle to get any space if our games continue to go the way we are used to.
But it is clear that Arsene Wenger wants to sign the striker, so does that indicate a potential change of tactics for Arsenal next season? It would not be too big a stretch of the imagination after all, because the last couple of years have seen Wenger employ a plan B of soaking up pressure and counter attacking. This has usually been in big games such as Man City away but why not extend this tactic?
There is another possibility which might sound like madness given our manager’s tactical history, but what about a 4-4-2, with Giroud and Vardy operating as the old school strike pairing that combines strength and aerial ability on one side and speed and finishing on the other?
Assuming we do sign Vardy, how do you see Arsenal with him in the side?