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Column: Three possible reasons why Jamie Vardy snubbed Arsenal to sign new Leicester contract


Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has agreed a new deal with the Premier League champions, putting an end to persistent rumours linking him with a move to Arsenal.

In all fairness, Arsene Wenger's interest for the England international was more than just summer rumours, he made an official offer to sign the 29-year-old but after taking some time to consider his future, the player opted to put pen to paper for the Foxes.

But why?

Arsenal club legend Thierry Henry was shocked to learn that the Englishman hasn’t jumped at the chance to join the Gunners but the Frenchman has also raised concerns over the mental strength of Arsene Wenger's side in February of this year: "I would question also the mentality of it".

And that's the first reason why Vardy said "no".


The last time the Gunners lifted the Premier League crown was way back in 2003/04, the "Invincibles season", that's more than a decade ago. As sad as it may sound for Arsenal fans, Claudio Ranieri managed to accomplish a mission that Arsene Wenger has been trying to achieve for more than ten years.

And for the Italian, it was all down to mental strength.

Many of his players were never in this position before yet they kept pushing and pushing until their dream was fulfilled. On the other hand, both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur showed mental fragility despite having many internationals in their squad.

Also, Arsenal campaigns over the past few years have been following a very worrying pattern which sees them stumble in February and March.

Is it fatigue? Is it their mental strength? Is it fear to finally win an important trophy? Whatever it is, Arsenal had a golden opportunity to win the title this season and next season with the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho coming in, it will not be as easy as it was this time around.

And this brings us to reason number two.

The Fans

Arsenal fans are growing impatient after more than a decade without a Premier League title and had Jamie Vardy joined and failed to score in two or three consecutive games, all hell would have broken loose.

He was one of the best players in the domestic league this season but moving from Leicester City to Arsenal requires time, time to settle down, time to understand what your new manager wants and time to understand the philosophy of the club both on and off the pitch.

At Arsenal it's no longer easy to settle down, the pressure is there, fans are angry, they were blamed by their own manager for not winning the Premier League. In poor words, it's not a nice environment to be in.

Which brings us to reason number three.

Guaranteed regular football

At Leicester City, Jamie Vardy is a hero, he is one of the club's most important players together with Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante. He would still keep his place if he fails to perform in three or four consecutive games.

At the Emirates competition is tough. Arsene Wenger loves his 4-5-1 or 4-1-4-1 formations and with Olivier Giroud enjoying a very successful Euro 2016 campaign, it wouldn't have been entirely guaranteed for Jamie Vardy to secure a regular place in the Frenchman's line-up straight away.

At the King Power Stadium he knows that he will enjoy the Champions League the way he wants to, as the one leading the offensive department of his team, something he would keep doing even if he struggles for form.

Clearly, only time will tell if his decision to stay was right or wrong, for now, one could say that he took the right decision.

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