For weeks now we’ve been in the silly season of transfer rumours. The main story we’ve been hearing from all sides is that of Leicester City’s prolific striker Jamie Vardy’s potential move to Arsenal.
A few weeks ago, Arsenal told Leicester they were prepared to meet the £20m buy-out clause in Vardy’s contract, but the England Striker, currently in the Three Lion’s training camp in Chantilly, insisted that the Euros are his current focus. “I’m just here completely focusing on England and that’s all I want to do at the moment,” said the 29-year-old, “We’re here to represent England and that’s all I want to think about.”
Recent speculation has said that Vardy is set to snub Arsenal, which we find very believable, because this wouldn’t be a good fit for either party. Vardy spectacularly broke onto the scene this year with rank underdogs Leicester, largely due to his form (breaking the goal scoring records), but also due to the team that was built around him. We’ve seen it for England as well; when Vardy receives long balls over the defence he’s unstoppable, but this is not how Arsenal teams, and more importantly, Arsene Wenger teams, typically play.
We’ve seen consistently how stubborn Wenger can be, fans have called for strikers to replace Giroud, but Vardy is not, in my opinion, the man they need.
Arsenal should instead look for other world class strikers that fit in with Wenger’s philosophical blueprint, such as Edinson Cavani. The Paris Saint-Germain striker is a player frequently linked with the Emirates, and you can understand why. He will always struggle to be considered the number one striker at the Parc des Princes, at least while Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the Parisian books. However, with Zlatan’s departure at the end of last season, the highly rated forward could be set for a break-through season in Ligue 1, making him yet a dearer target for the Gunners.
Cavani scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for PSG last season.
If this were to fall through, the Gunners have touted other possibilities in Gonzalo Higuan. Reports earlier this summer suggested Arsenal had a £43.3m bid rejected by Napoli. There are also reports in the Italian media that Higuan and Napoli’s coach Maurizio Sarri’s have a strained relationship, so there may yet be an opportunity there for Wenger to exploit.
Come what may, Arsenal do need a striker. Wenger bought Danny Welbeck and Sanchez last summer, but Giroud remained his first choice striker, despite an apparent inability to put bigger teams to bed. To win the Premier League and push forward in the Champions League, Arsenal need a striker who can change any game on his own, but Giroud still is not that player. Maybe a successful Euros campaign could boost the Frenchman’s confidence, and with the wind at his back he could finally deliver on some of his potential.
Giroud netted 24 times in 54 appearances for Arsenal last season.
Something needs to change upfront for the Gunners, fans are getting more and more restless with their seasons of late – not even edging out Tottenham for second could silence their greatest critics.
By James Doherty.