Rodgers discusses why Vardy snubbed Arsenal for ‘pure’ Leicester

Date published: Friday 8th November 2019 9:38

Brendan Rodgers is hoping the purity of Leicester will convince Jamie Vardy to remain with the Foxes “for many more years”.

Vardy has been a revelation since Rodgers arrived at the King Power Stadium at the end of February, scoring 19 goals in 22 games, including 10 this season, and five in his last three appearances.

Vardy and Leicester next face Arsenal at home on Saturday, a club the 32-year-old considered joining three years ago following the Foxes’ fairytale Premier League triumph.

Instead, he opted to remain with a club he joined for just £1million from Fleetwood over seven years ago.

Assessing why Vardy turned his back on the Gunners, Rodgers said: “It’s about the individual, and it’s not just the football, it’s family.

“Sometimes players have to weigh up everything. He was at the stage in his career where he had just come off the back of being a champion, worldwide status for that season, and the story behind it.

“But he also probably had to sit down and reflect on the next part of his career, and thankfully for me, he stayed.”

Rodgers has dismissed suggestions that at Arsenal, Vardy would no longer have been the focal point of the attack, as has long been the case with Leicester, instead citing the nature of the club itself as a key reason for spurning a move to north London.

“The one thing I know from Jamie Vardy is that he is a team player,” added Rodgers.

“Of course, he is a top striker but he loves competition. He is a competitor. I see it every day in our working time together.

“I don’t think being the main man…he is the type of guy who has proven himself all his life, all his career, and he has proven himself to be one of the top strikers in Europe, for me.

“It wouldn’t have been because of that (not being number one) he didn’t go to Arsenal.

“There were a number of things – he was offered a good deal here, he probably felt comfortable and stable here.

“It’s an incredible club. When you see all the paraphernalia around the Premier League, this is a club that’s pure, that has community spirit and doesn’t get carried away with all the stuff the Premier League can bring.

“He is the type of guy I’m sure enjoyed that, being looked after.”

Although Rodgers is unsure whether Vardy will see out his playing days with Leicester, he at least hopes the forward will not be lured away for some time to come.

“His best years will be here, and if you look at him now there are a few more to go yet,” assessed Rodgers.

“He is still so sharp, so clinical, and fit. He’s 33 in January but he looks after his body. Maybe not having played so much early on in his career is helping him at the back end.

“And then what he wants to do in a few years’ time, you never know. He may want to play elsewhere in another country, which he could do, but hopefully he is going to be here for many more years.”

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