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First off: Woah. Woah. Woah. That came out of no where.
Major breaking news, which has just taken over the UK media and social media networks — at least within the football spectrum: Arsenal have triggered the release clause for a certain Jamie Vardy.
Broken by The Guardian’s Stuart James: “Arsenal have triggered the release clause in Jamie Vardy’s contract and are ready to prise the England international from Leicester City in a deal worth about £20m.”
And if you’re wondering: According to the Mirror, the release clause can only be triggered by clubs who are in the Champions League ruling out the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool – two clubs who have been hot on his tail for a while, now.
The news, which has now been backed up by the likes of Sky Sports, The Independent, and The Mirror among others, came as an unexpected surprise for many Arsenal fans. Over the years, including this summer, we have been used to being linked with and have signed up players who weren’t the finished product such as Welbeck, Walcott and Sanogo among others.
At 29, Vardy is a player who is at the prime of his career and one of the best players in the English Premier League. He is a finished product, someone for the ‘here and now’, and, well, who isn’t French (ala Giroud, the aforementioned Sanogo, Benzema among countless others) which has taken a back many an Arsenal fan as highlighted by the reactions of astonishment and surprise on social media.
With fans being long fed with reports over interest in bonafide world class stars like Benzema, their uncertainty over a player who has had one remarkable season in the top tier is understandable.
But they must remember, Vardy is one of the best around in the Premier League at the moment. A player who played a very key role in Leicester City’s stunning league triumph and who has delivered against the league’s best sides and when his team needed him the most, with his match-winning performance against a stringent Sunderland side a very good example.
And unlike Wenger’s many foreign acquisitions, Vardy won’t be in need of an ‘adaptation period’, which can hinder even the best of players such as Ozil in his first season in England.
He’s hard-working, willing to fight for his team, scrappy, and has the eye for the spectacular with his stunning goal against Liverpool a memorable moment last season.
Of course, Vardy’s key weapon is his explosive pace. With Walcott struggling for form and Welbeck out of the picture, that renowned pace stored in his locker can help bring about another dimension to Arsenal’s attack and relieve pressure off the shoulders of Giroud, who is more on reliant on holding the ball and using his strength and size to shrug off defenders.
They’re almost complete opposites, which can only mean good things for the forward-line and for Arsenal. And for 20 million quid, for the Football Writers’ Player of the Season, I’d definitely take it. Worth the punt, in my book.
Wenger, go ahead and try to seal the deal.
Written by Omar Almasri
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