Pires: Vardy would shine at Arsenal

The Leicester City and England striker is mulling over whether to join the Gunners ahead of the new season after they triggered the £20m release clause in his contract

Arsenal great Robert Pires believes Jamie Vardy has all the qualities to be a success at the Emirates Stadium, should he decide to leave Leicester City. 

The 29-year-old is considering his future while at Euro 2016 with England after Arsenal met the £20million release clause in his Leicester contract, Goal can confirm.

Vardy scored 24 times in the league in 2015-16 as Leicester went on to complete one of the most remarkable triumphs in sporting history by claiming their first Premier League title. 

And Pires, who was part of Arsene Wenger’s famous ‘Invincibles’ side which won the league in unbeaten fashion in 2003/04, believes Vardy will thrive at Arsenal should he decide to make the move.

“There is no reason why it couldn’t work out for Vardy,” the Frenchman told the Daily Mail. “He scored a lot of goals in the Premier League last season and is now known around the world.

“He has the ability, comes across as very hard-working which Arsenal like, and he’s a great finisher.

“There’s a lot more pressure with playing for a big club, so it will be a step up.”

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Arsenal, who finished runners-up to Leicester last season, have already added Granit Xhaka to their squad, and Pires believes the addition of Vardy could see the club break their 12-year title drought. 

However, with Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho at Manchester City and United respectively next season, the one-time World Cup winner concedes it is a much more difficult task than previous years.

“Granit Xhaka is a great signing and to be honest, I’m not sure how many more players are needed,” Pires said.

“A lot is said about Arsenal going forward and if you look at goals scored, they were only a few goals off finishing top of that chart, Vardy’s addition could help next year.

“The league will be more difficult, especially with the arrivals of Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte [at Chelsea], plus you cannot ignore Mourinho’s appointment.

“You expect Mourinho to get Manchester United to compete again. His rivalry with Wenger was one the most eagerly awaited clashes from the last decade of the Premier League.

“It’s a good fight. It may take a while for him to get his side up to scratch so it’s a chance for Wenger to fix that head-to-head record.”

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