On the face of it, the only thing more surprising than Jamie Vardy rejecting a move to Arsenal is Arsenal being interested in him in the first place.
A proven goal scorer he may well be, but at 29-years-old he has also proven to be a little bit racist. He’s also completely untested at Champions League level.
None of this, clearly, was an issue for Arsene Wenger and co. as they lodged their buy-out activating bid three weeks ago today.
Yes, it really has only been three weeks.
Just a few days ago, I wondered why, if Vardy was staying with Leicester, was it being kept quiet until the end of the Euros? It made no sense, but now with the announcement that came on Thursday, it seems as if Vardy’s peeps were in negotiations with Leicester over a new deal while we all thought he was thinking about Arsenal.
Perhaps he was. Who knows. Maybe he’ll tell us one day, although I don’t expect to hear the truth while he is still a Leicester player. ‘I never really thought about leaving Leicester’ will be the story we’ll hear.
But I digress.
The move, or non-move if you will, is best for all involved.
For Leicester they get to make a statement of intent and show they are capable of keeping their stars. I genuinely hope everyone stays, I really do, because Claudio Ranieri deserves that much at least.
For Vardy, he’s sticking with what he knows, and we already know he doesn’t like London anyway because they put cheese on chips instead of gravy. His fairy-tale deserves to play out at Leicester and maybe, just maybe, the step to Arsenal would have been one too far. I doubt he sees it like that, but somebody, somewhere, might have and had a word.
Even if they didn’t, Vardy remains at Leicester a very big fish in a little pond. At Arsenal, he would become a goldfish in the Emirates whale tank, where criticism comes quickly, memories are long and patience short.
For Arsenal, they don’t have to think about changing their game to one that suits Vardy. They can find a player who fits the club better, both in terms of personality and playing style.
It’s not often I’m happy to see an Arsenal transfer deal fall apart, even less so when a player rejects Arsenal. A lot of Arsenal fans are angry at Vardy for deciding to stay but I’m not. I’m very, very happy.
Thank you Mr. Vardy.
I’ll be eternally grateful that I don’t ever have to support you simply because you’re wearing an Arsenal shirt.