Jamie Vardy’s Leicester City team-mate, Shinji Okazaki, has spoken about the striker’s potential decision to move to Arsenal and what he says contradicts reports.
The Japanese striker, who only got to play alongside Vardy for one season (so far), praised the 29-year-old, hailing his versatility and claiming that the England international wouldn’t have any trouble slotting into our style of play.
“I think he has the potential to adapt to any style of soccer. At Leicester, we just happened to play the way we did and he fit fine,” the 30-year-old said to the Japan Times.
“But even in a team that plays possession soccer, he has that sudden burst of speed and there are a lot of players at Arsenal who will notice that right away and play to that strength of his, like the way they did with Danny Welbeck.
“He’s not someone who only tries to get behind the defense, though. He picks his spots.
“Someone like me, I have to really get set up and then go but he can quicken instantly, go from zero to full speed. He can adjust to any style.”
He added, “It’s not a decision that’s up to me, but he was very encouraging to have as a teammate and I am sure he would do a fantastic job if he stayed with us this year too.
“But this is a life choice and every footballer has to make his own choices.
“If he goes, then hopefully other players will come in. If several players end up leaving it’s going to be a tough season for us, but I think Leicester understand that.
“We still don’t have the resources to stand toe-to-toe against the big clubs — yet.
“But if we can keep the squad together and ‘endure,’ as the manager always says, then we can move on from being surprise packages to legitimate contenders in England.
“It is difficult to say what I would do if I were in his position.
“Arsenal have not won the league for a long time and that is maybe a dream Vardy has.
“He has won the league with Leicester and if he led Arsenal to the title rather than try and help Leicester defend it, then his stock would rise even further.”
Firstly, the deal hasn’t been completed yet and the longer it plays out, the more inclined I am to believe he’s being convinced to stay with the Foxes and reign as King of the Alcopops, especially considering the reports which began to circulate on Monday night. Secondly, whether he would gel with our style of football is something I’m not entirely convinced of yet. Saying this, I don’t hate the idea of him in an Arsenal kit as much as some of my fellow Gooners.
Do Okazaki’s comments prove Vardy’s coming to Arsenal or does he know about as much as us right now? I’d say he’s pretty much as in the dark as we are. What are the chances of Okazaki picking up his phone over the weekend and chucking ol’ Vardz a text asking him what his intentions are? I don’t see it. He’s probably following the story along in the press, just as we are.
Get up to speed on all the latest surrounding the Vardy rumours here.