It’s been almost two weeks since we supposedly activated the release clause in Jamie Vardy’s Leicester City contract and the speculation has become increasingly tiresome. In the days that followed our alleged bid for Vardy, news also broke of Manchester City reportedly attempting to agree a deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The reaction to both potential deals on social media from Arsenal supporters, was puzzling to say the least. Members of the Arsene fan club stated that they wouldn’t want to see us spending an ‘obscene’ amount of money on twenty six year old Aubameyang. With the fee and wages rumoured to be £50m and £200k a week respectively.
Those of us who criticise Wenger are often told by those who don’t, to concentrate on supporting the team. However, when it is suggested that we rival the City bid for the Dortmund forward, the same supporters stop being football fans. Instead taking on the role of accountants and tell us a deal for Aubameyang wouldn’t represent value for money.
Perhaps someone should explain that better players more often than not, lead to success and further successes bring additional prize money. From my perspective there are no doubts that Aubamayeng is a better player than Vardy. At twenty nine, with a fee of £20m and wages of £120k a week, Vardy himself wouldn’t come particularly cheap either and would also have very little future resale value.
Aubamayeng on the other hand, is approaching what many consider to be the peak years of an outfield players career. But it is not a rare occurrence for the Arsene Knows Brigade to move the goalposts in order to suit their own argument or fail to see some situations from an objective perspective for that matter.
The Arsene Knows Brigade will no doubt suggest that Aubameyang is nothing other than the latest flavour of the month. The reality, however, is that he has been my first choice striking target for a number of years. Having first come to my attention whilst playing for Saint Etienne. Although up until now, I hadn’t considered him to be a realistic target, with his heart believed to be set on a move to Real Madrid.
This of course may still be the case but if there is any truth in the rumours that he would even consider a move to England, we should at least give him something to think about and make a counter offer to rival that of Man City. In the past a fee of £80m has been mentioned but recent reports suggest that 50m is closer to the truth. That certainly does not seem an unreasonable price in today’s market.
Since the end of the last campaign, the club has already offloaded in excess of £200k per week in wages following the departures of midfield trio, Mathieu Flamini, Mike Arteta and Tomas Rosicky. Should Theo Walcott be follow them through the exit door, a further £110k a week at the lowest estimate, would also be freed up for potential new signings.
Add this to the new TV revenue and there is evidence to suggest that the club can afford to finance a move for the Dortmund forward.
Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, no this is not me advocating the club engaging in a reckless bidding war in order to secure his signature. I am simply saying that within reason, we could and should, put an offer on the table.
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In terms of my thoughts about the potential arrival of Vardy, it will be evident by this point that he would by no means, be my preferred choice. This is not to say that if he did sign, he wouldn’t improve our options. He wouldn’t make us any weaker but there are doubts about whether he would suit our style of play.
At Leicester, Vardy is familiar with playing on the shoulder of the last defender and hitting the opposition on the counter attack. Should he complete the proposed move, Vardy would have to adapt to playing against opponents who sit deep instead of playing for them and it will be interesting to see if he’s capable of adjusting.
If the transfer happens then I’ll welcome him but if it doesn’t, I won’t lose any sleep over it. I just hope Arsene has alternatives lined up if Vardy decides not to make the move….