Jamie Vardy doesn't suit Arsenal's style of play, says Paul Merson
Last Updated: 08/06/16 9:37pm
Paul Merson has doubts over Jamie Vardy's compatibility with Arsenal and has questioned the Gunners' pursuit of the Leicester City striker.
Vardy's future at the King Power Stadium appears uncertain after Arsenal lodged their interest in the striker, whose 24 goals fired the Foxes to the title last season.
Sky sources understand the 29-year-old held talks over a move to the Emirates after the Gunners triggered his £20m release clause, but there was no decision on Vardy's future as he jetted off to France for England's Euro 2016 training camp.
With preparations for this summer's tournament taking precedence, and with Vardy reported to be considering an improved deal from Leicester, former Arsenal midfielder Merson reflected on the potential transfer, before suggesting Vardy may be having second thoughts.
"It doesn't fit with me," he told Sky Sports. "Arsenal don't get the ball forward quickly enough. I don't get the transfer, I really don't get it.
"No disrespect to Vardy but his strengths are getting the ball over the top. Teams come onto Leicester and they hit them on the counter.
"The vast majority of Vardy's goals came from one-on-one with goalkeepers. Teams kick-off against Arsenal and immediately put 10 behind the ball and they've got to try and break them down.
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"I think Vardy is really thinking whether Arsenal would suit him. If that wasn't the case he would have signed straight away, he wouldn't have had to talk to anyone about it as Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in the world. There has got to be a reason (for the delay).
"He is probably thinking whether he could score goals with Arsenal. The ball never goes over the top and he's not going to play a one-two with three players before scoring as that's not his game. He is the best in the business at the ball over the top, nobody catches him."
I think Vardy is really thinking whether Arsenal would suit him. If that wasn’t the case he would have signed straight away.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson
Arsenal's Premier League title charge faltered in part to a lack of goals last season, with the Gunners' top scorer, Olivier Giroud, eight goals shy of Vardy's haul.
Understandably, the acquisition of a prolific goalscorer would only strengthen Arsenal's bid to end their 12-year wait to be crowned champions.
But Merson believes Vardy's price tag is key to the deal, adding: "Arsenal think Vardy is cheap. £20m in this day and age is cheap.
"Ross McCormack was sold to a Championship team for £11m so Vardy isn't expensive, is he?"