Why Arsenal fans should fear Jamie Vardy, the man who has gone on to haunt the Gunners since rejecting them

Why Arsenal fans should fear Jamie Vardy, the man who has gone on to haunt the Gunners since rejecting them

Jamie Vardy will be the last person Arsenal want to face this weekend.

Leicester host Arsenal on Saturday – a game you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT – with Unai Emery’s men in poor form having won just one Premier League game since September.

Jamie Vardy is in red-hot form for Leicester

AFP or licensors

Jamie Vardy is in red-hot form for Leicester

In stark contrast, Leicester are flying under Brendan Rodgers, whose side sit third in the table after 11 games.

The Foxes will have the division’s top scorer at their disposal in Vardy, who has netted 10 goals this season.

And, even more ominously for Arsenal, the 32-year-old’s record against them and the Premier League’s traditional ‘Big Six’ is fantastic.

Vardy has scored eight goals in eight league starts against Arsenal, including three braces, the most recent one coming in a 3-0 win in April, which helped eventually end the Gunners’ top-four hopes.

None of the ‘Big Six’, which includes Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool and Man City, enjoy playing against Vardy.

In total, the former England striker has found the target an impressive 34 times against them.

Jamie Vardy’s scoring record vs the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’

  • Arsenal – 8 goals
  • Liverpool – 7 goals
  • Manchester United – 5 goals
  • Man City – 5 goals
  • Tottenham – 5 goals
  • Chelsea – 4 goals

It could all have been so different for Vardy and Arsenal, however.

After helping Leicester to a remarkable Premier League title triumph in the 2015/16 season, a campaign where he scored 24 goals, he was very much on Arsenal’s radar.

The north London club made an offer in the region of £20million, which triggered Vardy’s release clause.

However, the striker opted to stay loyal to Leicester and rejected Arsenal’s advances.

He was rewarded for his loyalty by signing a new four-year deal later on that summer, which would keep him at the club until 2022.

In September 2017, explaining why he turned the Gunners down, Vardy said: “I want to win as much as possible.

“I don’t want to only have one Premier League medal in my drawer at home – it would be an empty glass cabinet.

“I’m contracted to Leicester and we will see how high we can go. In the future, who knows?

“Just because I turned down Arsenal, that was my choice, but if another offer came in it would be the same in that I would look at it and work out the pros and cons.

Jamie Vardy has thrived under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester

AFP or licensors

Jamie Vardy has thrived under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester

“But no, turning down Arsenal doesn’t mean I wouldn’t look at another offer. I’ll never regret anything I’ve chosen to do.”

Arsene Wenger was the Arsenal manager when Vardy rejected a move to the Emirates.

The Gunners have done well, transfer-wise, since his rejection, signing top-level strikers in Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Speaking in 2017, Wenger insisted he had no regrets over not bringing Vardy to the Emirates.

The Frenchman said: “He was one of the strikers available. I believe we did what we wanted to do [in trying to persuade him to join].

“No [I do not regret not signing him]. Transfers, successful or not successful are part of it.

“You have to accept the decisions of the player. He made that decision and I respect that completely, you have to move forward and look at something else.”

How grateful Leicester boss Rodgers must be that the move to Arsenal failed.

Since Rodgers took charge of the Foxes in March, Vardy has scored 19 goals in just 21 games.

He has impressed Rodgers so much that the former Liverpool boss revealed he would not swap his talisman for Tottenham and England star Harry Kane.

Most Premier League goals against Arsenal

Wayne Rooney – 12

Robbie Fowler – 10

Harry Kane – 10

Peter Crouch – 9

Teddy Sheringham – 8

Didier Drogba – 8

Sergio Aguero – 8

Jamie Vardy – 8

Roberto Firmino – 8

“Harry is a top, top player but I wouldn’t swap Jamie,” Rodgers said.

“I have worked closely with Jamie for some time now and there’s not many in world football you would swap him for.

“He’s just got this incredible knack in terms of pressing the game and reading the game, and tactically he is so good.

“He has that hunger and that appetite, desire and speed to get in behind and stretch the game and score. I like that kind of striker.

“At this level, in the most competitive league in the world, he is right up there with the elite strikers in the world and I am very fortunate to have him.”

Vardy turns 33 in January and is showing no signs of slowing down, but Arsenal will hope he has a rare off day on Saturday.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this weekend…

  • Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Nottingham Forest vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Southampton vs Everton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Leicester vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Cardiff vs Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network, including Leicester vs Arsenal at 17:30

Read More

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