LONDON, Sporting Alert – Arsenal are believed to be very interested in signing striker Jamie Vardy, but Sky Sports’ Football Expert and former Gunner Paul Merson doesn’t believe he’ll be a good fit.
Vardy was one of the leading marksmen in the English Premier League last season, after scoring 24 goals and helping Leicester City win its first ever top flight title.
Recently there have been doubts over his future at the King Power Stadium, following strong interest from fellow Premier League outfits Arsenal, who apparently triggered the £20m release clause in his current contract.
Sky Sports revealed that the 29-year-old held discussions over a possible move to the Emirates, and although he hasn’t completely ruled out making the switch, Vardy is yet to make a final decision about his future.
Several players, including current Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud, and pundits have been supportive of his potential move to work with Arsene Wenger, but Merson, a former Arsenal midfielder, doubts the defensive forward’s playing style would be compatible with the Gunners.
He told Sky Sports: “It doesn’t fit with me. Arsenal don’t get the ball forward quickly enough. I don’t get the transfer, I really don’t get it.
“No disrespect to Vardy but his strengths are getting the ball over the top. Teams come onto Leicester and they hit them on the counter.
“The vast majority of Vardy’s goals came from one-on-one with goalkeepers. Teams kick-off against Arsenal and immediately put 10 behind the ball and they’ve got to try and break them down.”
Merson also shed some light on why he believes Vardy hasn’t signed with Arsenal already, citing that the player himself might be holding reservations.
“I think Vardy is really thinking whether Arsenal would suit him,” he said. “If that wasn’t the case he would have signed straight away, he wouldn’t have had to talk to anyone about it as Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in the world. There has got to be a reason (for the delay).
“He is probably thinking whether he could score goals with Arsenal. The ball never goes over the top and he’s not going to play a one-two with three players before scoring as that’s not his game.
“He is the best in the business at the ball over the top, nobody catches him.”
Vardy, who is currently with the England national squad preparing for this week’s Euro 2016 tournament, was apparently offered to Manchester United as well, but manager Jose Mourinho opted against signing him.