2015/16 will ultimately go down as an all-time great in Premier League history.
Mourinho’s implosion at Chelsea, a €100m transfer to Old Trafford, not to mention the relegation of Newcastle United. Each spectacular in its own way but each ultimately played second fiddle to a grander story. In 2016 there was only one real headline in town, Leicester City.
Their Premier League triumph will never lose its sheen. Battling against barely believable odds, Leicester wrapped up the league on May 2nd when Spurs failed to leave Stamford Bridge with 3 points.
And Jamie Vardy was star of the show. Scoring in 11 consecutive games and thus breaking Ruud Van Nistleroy’s record, Vardy appeared unplayable for much of the season. His clinical finishing and searing pace were hallmarks of his greatness, and once the curtain came down on such a remarkable season, the traditional giants of English football came calling.
And none called harder than Arsenal.
The back and forth between the clubs ran for much of the summer. Each week seemed to add a fresh perspective, a new plot twist. But ultimately the deal didn’t materialize. A more lucrative contract was enough to keep Vardy at Leicester. Arsenal would have to make – do without a marquee signing striker. ‘How could they possibly survive?’ the world’s media wondered. Well, as it turns out, they can survive just fine.
Alexis Sanchez’ sublime hat-trick against West Ham on Saturday was just the latest in a string of stunning performances from the Chilean. Should Player of the Seasons gongs be handed out in December, he would likely be the recipient of most. While Vardy’s dose of ‘second season syndrome’ has been more debilitating than expected, Sanchez has scaled heights not conquered by Arsenal sharp-shooters in recent years.
The contrast between the two is surmised clearly below;
Stats via Squawka
Granted Vardy’s statistics would likely be better had he not remained at Leicester, the comparison is stark nonetheless. In addition it proves that the transfer fee previously requested by Leicester can be better spent elsewhere, as the January transfer window looms large.
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