Not proven, not suited – can Arsenal’s £20m man thrive?

With Jamie Vardy seemingly on the verge of making a switch from Leicester to Arsenal after the north London side triggered his release clause, the deal could represent a gamble not worth taking for Arsenal.

He spearheaded Leicester City to a remarkable Premier League title triumph with 24 goals and six assists, and you cannot argue with the fact that he has been one of the stand-out players in season that saw many players impress.

All the acclaim headed his way, and rightly so, but it is important to restore some order amid all the frenzy. Despite scoring a bundle of goals last season and firing Leicester to the title, Vardy is not proven. The season before he scored a mere five goals.

On many occasions we have seen players impress in one season; for example, Christian Benteke scored 19 in his first campaign at Aston Villa and is now witnessing his career peter out at Liverpool. An impressive season does not necessarily mean the player will continue it on.

It is also important to remember Vardy is 29. He will turn 30 in January, so is a deal reportedly worth around £20million a bargain or a gamble, considering he has had only one impressive season?

Proven goalscorers like Gonzalo Higuain and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have been better suited, and although they come at a premium price, they are of premium quality.

Arsenal fans have been crying out for a clinical, mobile striker since Robin Van Persie walked out the doors of the Emirates. Olivier Giroud has flattered to deceive on a number of occasions and went over 15 league games without a goal.

Theo Walcott has all but sealed his exit with a series of poor performances, and Danny Welbeck is neither fit nor good enough to lead the line.

So in a sense, you could see why Wenger is interested in signing Vardy.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has moulded the striker in a fine, counter-attacking phenomenon, putting opposition teams to the sword with searing pace and unerring finishes. Arsenal have needed a personnel of this frame, but do the Gunners suit his style?

Arsenal are known for their possession-based football, crafting open opportunities in style. Leicester though, are the opposite. Last season they opted for a counter-attacking approach, thumping the ball up to Vardy at every opportunity as they utilised his strength.

Unless Wenger adopts Arsenal’s approach, Vardy faces the real possibility of becoming a square peg in a round hole at Arsenal.

Although it does look like Wenger is far more flexible in recent years, adopting different tactics to suit opponents. And while it is unlikely he will change his philosophy for one player, it is possible.

He has already signed Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach, a player who has an impressive passing range, which could be used to pick out Vardy, were he to join.

Overall, this represents a gamble for Arsenal. But they have been safe for far too often and it is time they take a risk to try and win the title for the first time since 2004.

Whether Vardy becomes a hit at Arsenal we’ll have to wait and see, but signs do not look promising.

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