Jamie Vardy to Arsenal: Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy at the Emirates Stadium, London, February 14. Arsenal has activated Vardy's release clause at Leicester City. Michael Regan/Getty

Remain or leave? It's the issue of the month for 64 million people across Britain, but for Jamie Vardy the question holds a completely different meaning.

The Leicester City striker could be on the verge of a transfer to Arsenal after the London club activated the release clause in his contract. Vardy's party may be on the move.

His 24 goals helped propel Claudio Ranieri's side to an unlikely Premier League title last season, with Vardy named the Football Writers' Player of the Year.

Now, as he prepares to represent England at Euro 2016, the 29-year-old must weigh up his options and decide whether to stay or go.

Here, Newsweek looks at the reasons why Vardy would want to stay at the King Power stadium and why he would want to head to the Emirates.

Why Remain?

"I suggest to all my players stay one year more. Don't go. If you go to another team you might not get on the pitch," Ranieri said of potential departures.

"I don't want the big names here, I don't want to break my dressing room —my lads are special."

The Leicester manager knew bids were likely. His players, especially Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante, had been too good for other clubs not to come sniffing.

So he pulled on the heartstrings, quite understandably. Why would someone want to leave a club that has gone from the verge of the Championship to champions?

A bond of brotherhood led the team of unlikelies to write their names in history. The only question that lingers over them now is whether such success can be sustained next season.

Vardy would be the first to leave the Leicester party as well, the first to break from the dressing room.

His success at the club has come through the team's tactics. Electrifying pace has allowed him to latch onto through-balls and long clearances from the back. He suits the counter-attacking football.

The lure of European football tends to be the temptation for most players, but Arsenal has failed to get past the round of 16 for the past five seasons. Vardy was playing for Halifax Town in the Northern Premier League the last time Arsenal went further.

Leicester's capability in the Champions League remains unknown. Nothing is out of the question anymore. But if Vardy sticks around, he can answer that question.

Why Leave?

The cynic says money. Vardy's ascent to greatness in European football has been rapid, and he may never see another move as lucrative as this.

Wait another year, as Ranieri requested, and the England striker will be 30 years old. At Chelsea, players over the age of 30 are given one-year contracts, as they're seen as in the twilight years of their career.

It could be one last payday for Vardy, with Arsenal reported to be prepared to offer considerably more than his current £80,000-per-week contract.

Aside from wage, trophies are the big draw. Whether playing down expectation once again or not, Ranieri has said already that he doesn't believe Leicester can repeat the Premier League title feat.

But maybe Vardy is the missing link at the Emirates, a plan B for the Gunners. Criticism for Arsene Wenger and his team over the past decade has been their inability to break away from the possession style football.

With Vardy in the ranks, Arsenal would pose a constant threat of counter-attacking football. Competing in both the Premier League and Champions League becomes a more possible scenario.

The temptation will be great.

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