Vardy sideshow leaves a bitter taste

According to the BBC, Jamie Vardy is set to reject the chance to join Arsenal in favour of remaining with Premier League champions Leicester.

There are doubtlessly a lot of Gunners out there who will be dismayed at that news, if it proves to be true, but I won’t be among them.

Vardy is a goal-scorer, there is no question about that. In his time at Leicester, and whilst away with England, he has proven that he has a certain knack for finding the net.

And I also believe, in stark contrast to a lot of pundits, that he would have been well capable of playing in the Arsenal system.

But there was something about the whole situation that irked me. It just didn’t feel right. From the moment the 29-year-old said he was going to ‘think over’ the offer from Arsenal, my mind was mind up.

This is Arsenal we are talking about, not a choice of prizes at the pub raffle. Of course, Vardy is perfectly entitled to stay exactly where he is. After all, Leicester is the club that made him, the club that shot him to prominence, the club that took a gamble on him when it seemed that the big time had passed him by.

Where I take issue is the very public way that Vardy allowed this all to be played out. If you have to sit and think about joining a club like Arsenal, and let it be very known publically that you are doing as much, it’s probably not the move for you.

Apart from anything else, it’s no way to endear yourself to fans. We want certainty, we want players who are chomping at the bit to pull on the red and white, we want declarations of fealty.

What we don’t want are people wandering around France with cans of Redbull and packets of chewing tobacco telling Arsene Wenger that he’ll have a little think about making the move. It’s insulting.

I understand that we are in serious need of a new striker, someone who can hit the ground running with a killer instinct in front of goal, and we need to get them signed, sealed and delivered as soon as possible. Vardy would have fit that bill.

What we are not is desperate. We are a proud club, with class above all others, and not a club to be so lightly considered. I don’t like the way we appear to have been treated here.

If it all turns out to be false, and Vardy does indeed sign, I can’t see that my opinion will change. This has been an embarrassing sideshow and one which Arsenal should not have been exposed to.

If he stays with Leicester, I wish him, and the Foxes, all the best. I just hope he doesn’t come to regret the way he has handled himself through all of this.

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