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Jamie Vardy toils vindicate the big club optimistics

Tuesday 7th February 2017
Jamie Vardy rejected a move to Arsenal and is now toiling away at Leicester, vindicating the many players who move to big clubs without guaranteed game time.
You would have been forgiven for forgetting that Fabian Delph still existed. I certainly did. The former Aston Villa man still pervades within the riches of Manchester City, rarely seeing the light of day, allowed to peek around the domineering figure of Yaya Toure whenever his manager, whoever that may be at the time, gives him the rather restricted license to do so.

Delph is simply another in a long line of, predominantly English, given the media circus that encircles even the most mediocre of home-grown youngsters, players who seize a move to a big club when every man and his dog knows that while their wallets will be getting thicker, their game time will not. It is a very well worn path.

Remember when Scott Parker, a fresh-faced, midfield dynamo signed for Chelsea, only to leave 18 months later, having not made enough appearances to qualify for a Premier League winner's medal? Or what about Shaun Wright-Phillips? Or even Scott Sinclair? The former Swansea winger was hot property when showcasing his blend of pace and precision in an attacking Welsh team that excited and enthralled, Sinclair at the heart of it all. He now plies his trade in Scotland, after four anonymous years in Manchester (with intermittent loan spells).

Or what about Jack Rodwell? The now-Sunderland midfielder recorded his first win for the Black Cats in over 30 matches that he had started just this past week. He was signed for £12 million by, you guessed it, Manchester City, from Everton where he established himself as yet another starlet, moulded much in the same way as Wayne Rooney was nearly a decade before him.

The reason why I point to this collection of unfulfilled, wasted talent is actually to vindicate their decisions. It is a popular stance to take that criticises and demeans their apparent preference of money over football. However, perhaps that is a shortsighted conclusion to draw. Of course, money played a part. It always does in football. But maybe, just maybe, many of the players had an eye on their career and not just their bank balance.

The man who validates many of his predecessor's decisions is Jamie Vardy. After a miraculous season in which the fox in the box led the Foxes to outfox everyone and win the most unlikely league title in sporting history, both he and his club have since, to put in bluntly, tanked. All of this has taken place under the shadow of a rather controversial and surprising decision.

Arsenal had a £20 million bid accepted by Leicester. Vardy was given the choice; stay with the club that founded his meteoric rise, guaranteed of stardom and playing time, or move to the big boys, where the risk is high but so are the rewards. Unlike many of the aforementioned players, Vardy chose to stay. Now, at the age of 30, having suffered through a torrid year in which he has found the net just five times in over 20 Premier League games, he may never get another chance to ever chase the dreams that Arsenal could have made a reality.

So, the next time a seemingly hopeless move to Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal takes place, let's not immediately assume that it's money that is doing all the talking. Sometimes it's the career, it's just not always that easy to see.
Andrew Dowdeswell

A sport obsessed 20 something who just really wants Arsenal to finally win the league. Please Wenger, what the hell happened to you?!


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