Analysing the greatest ever footballing transfers in the English premier league, Jamie Carragher believes no player can trump Jamie Vardy’s move from Fleetwood town to Leicester City.
Vardy who arrived at the Foxes for a meagre fee of £1 million has turned out to be one of the world’s most lethal striker’s notching 114 Premier League goals to date and helping Leicester secure a title in 2016.
Carragher had this to say in an interview “I am always reluctant to definitively declare anyone or anything is ‘the best ever.”
”It can only be a matter of opinion. But if you were compiling a list of the greatest, most influential signings and judging it on value for money, who eclipses Vardy?”
The Liverpool legend claimed the 34 -year-old forward’s signing for Leicester dwarfs some of the greatest legends in the EPL, also insisting these legends were almost perfect pieces of the puzzle for those respective clubs
”We can talk about many transfers which changed the course of Premier League history, such as Eric Cantona joining Manchester United, Dennis Bergkamp to Arsenal, Yaya Toure or David Silva moving to Manchester City, or Virgil van Dijk joining Liverpool,” he said
”They were established, international players and household names heading to clubs already building towards titles – the finishing touch to emerging teams.”
The sport’s pundit also likened the striker’s footballing journey to an inspirational fairytale that would be told for generations.
”Whenever the story of English football is told to future generations, they will talk about Leicester before and after Vardy’s arrival,” he said.
Vardy is set to return to the side after four games out when Leicester host Liverpool on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers saluted “world-class” Jamie Vardy after he sealed Leicester’s late 1-0 win as spluttering Arsenal crashed to a third defeat in their last four Premier League games on Sunday.
Vardy was only fit enough for the bench after a calf injury, but Foxes manager Rodgers sent the striker on with 30 minutes left. Vardy responded with his sixth goal of the season.
The 33-year-old has made a habit of tormenting Arsenal and has now scored 11 goals in 12 Premier League games against them.
“Our plan was always to bring Jamie Vardy into the game and he can stretch it,” said Rodgers.
“He makes the big contributions in the big games,” he added after Leicester’s first win at Arsenal since 1973.
“That shows you the level he is at and he is a world-class player. I’m lucky to have him.”
Leicester climbed to fourth after ending a run of two successive league defeats.
“We deserved it, we played against a really good side and have players who can run in behind,” Rodgers said.
“To keep a clean sheet and play with the quality and calmness was good.”
Arsenal are languishing in 10th after a second consecutive league loss following their 1-0 defeat at Manchester City last weekend.
But it might have been a different story when, early in a then goalless game, Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette headed in from a corner only for his effort to be disallowed for offside against Granit Xhaka.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was also disappointed by his team’s lack of cutting edge.
“I’m really disappointed, we had it in our hands in the first half and I don’t know how the hell Lacazette’s goal was disallowed,” Arteta said.
“It is difficult to create spaces with 10 men behind the ball, but we should have finished the game better.”
The principle problem is a sudden dip in form for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon forward is without a goal in his last five league games — his worst drought since 2014, although he did net against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday.
Aubameyang has scored just once in the league this season, hardly the kind of form Arteta would have hoped for after handing the striker a lucrative new contract in September.
Arsenal’s ability to challenge for a top-four place rests on Aubameyang leading the charge. So far this term he has been a flop.
– Luiz blow –
Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno was at fault for the goal his side conceded in Vienna and the German nearly gifted Leicester the lead inside the first two minutes.
Leno came dashing way off his line but his attempted clearance went straight to James Maddison. The midfielder’s 40-yard effort floated just wide.
Alexandre Lacazette headed in from an Arsenal corner moments later, but the goal was disallowed for offside against Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal were on top and Bukayo Saka’s strike forced a good save from Kasper Schmeichel before Aubameyang headed over from Kieran Tierney’s cross.
Lacazette should have done better with a good chance from another Tierney cross before Saka shot into the side-netting.
Arsenal suffered a blow when David Luiz limped off early in the second half.
Arteta sent on Nicolas Pepe midway through the half in a bid to perk Arsenal up.
Bellerin brought a good save from Schmeichel when he met Aubameyang’s cross with a powerful volley.
But Arsenal were hit with a sucker punch in the 80th minute.
Youri Tielemans’ ball over the top for Cengiz Under was perfectly weighted and the Turk squared across goal for Vardy to head into the empty net.
Jamie Vardy hit a hat-trick as Leicester exposed Manchester City’s defensive flaws with a stunning 5-2 win at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s side went ahead after just four minutes thanks to Riyad Mahrez’s thunderous strike.
But that was as good as it got for City as Vardy tore Guardiola’s creaky defence to pieces with his pace and superb movement.
Kyle Walker’s foul on Vardy led to a penalty that the striker converted himself before the break.
Vardy struck again with a fine finish in the second half and netted another spot-kick after being fouled by Eric Garcia.
James Maddison’s brilliant strike added Leicester’s fourth before Nathan Ake scored his first City goal.
Youri Tielemans’ penalty made it five, sealing Leicester’s third successive victory and leaving City bruised after their most embarrassing league defeat under Guardiola since a 4-0 loss at Everton in 2017.
For the first time ever, Guardiola saw one of his teams concede five goals in his 686th game as a manager with City, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
It was the first time City had conceded five goals in a home league game since 2003 against Arsenal — a devastating setback after their win at Wolves in their Premier League opener last Monday.
City looked even worse at the back than last season despite the signing of Bournemouth centre-back Ake.
Amid reports City could be about to sign Benfica centre-half Ruben Dias, Guardiola could have been forgiven for rushing to seal the deal once the final whistle blew.
While it is too early to write off City’s title hopes, they will need to improve significantly if they are overhaul champions, Liverpool.
With Gabriel Jesus joining Sergio Aguero on the sidelines due to injury, Guardiola was without an experienced central striker.
As he did in the Champions League win against Real Madrid last season, England midfielder Phil Foden filled the role upfront as a false nine, but he struggled to make an impact.
– Rattled City –
City were ahead in the fourth minute when James Justin could only half-clear Kevin De Bruyne’s corner and Mahrez smashed a superb strike into the top corner from wide on the right-hand side of the Leicester area.
Fernandinho should have doubled City’s lead, but the Brazilian headed De Bruyne’s free-kick straight at Kasper Schmeichel.
But after dominating the first half, City were rocked in the 37th minute.
Harvey Barnes’ precise pass played Vardy in behind Walker and the City defender made a panicked tug on the Leicester striker that sent him tumbling.
Vardy picked himself up to drill the penalty high into the roof of Ederson’s net for his third successful spot-kick this season.
City were rattled by that setback and Guardiola sent on 17-year-old striker Liam Delap for his Premier League debut.
But it was Vardy who showcased his predatory instincts in the 54th minute.
Making a clever run to meet Timothy Castagne’s low cross at the near-post, Vardy flicked a sublime finish past Ederson with his trailing foot.
Garcia missed the Wolves game after having 16 stitches inserted into a wound he suffered in training and took to the pitch wearing a Petr Cech-style head guard.
Vardy ensured Garcia’s discomfort wasn’t limited to his headgear as his run forced the defender into a push that gave Leicester another penalty in the 58th minute.
Once again Vardy was ice cool from the spot as he completed just the third treble against a Guardiola team — with one of the others also scored by the Leicester star.
Maddison came off the bench to compound City’s misery with his 25-yard curler into the top corner in the 77th minute.
Ake headed City’s second in the 84th minute, but Benjamin Mendy fouled Maddison four minutes later and Tielemens made Leicester the first team in Premier League history to score three penalties in one game.
Jamie Vardy won the Premier League Golden Boot for the first time in his career on Sunday despite a poor end to the season for Leicester City that saw them miss out on the Champions League.
England forward Vardy, 33, became the oldest player to win the award for the league’s top scorer after netting 23 goals, one more than Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Southampton’s Danny Ings.
With Chelsea ensuring a top four finish with a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vardy drew a blank as the Foxes failed to gain the win against Manchester United that they needed to leapfrog Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side into the top four.
Vardy came closest for Leicester in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium when he hit the bar on the hour mark.
Ederson took the Golden Glove award for the most clean sheets after Manchester City’s 5-0 win over relegated Norwich took him to 16 for the season.
He finished one ahead of Burnley stopper Nick Pope, whose team suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton.
While the Premier League title has already been won by Liverpool in record time, the battle to finish as the top-flight’s leading scorer is set to go down to the wire.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah could add the Golden Boot to his Premier League winners’ medal, but he has work to do to catch Leicester’s Jamie Vardy, who sits top of the goal charts with four games left.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also in contention to get his hands on the prize after sharing it with Salah and Sadio Mane last season when the trio each scored 22 goals.
Southampton’s Danny Ings is the dark horse after an unexpectedly prolific campaign.
With 22 league goals to his credit so far this term, Vardy is in pole position to take the prize, especially after rediscovering his peak form over the last week.
Vardy failed to score in Leicester’s first four games after the coronavirus hiatus, but the 33-year-old netted twice against Crystal Palace to pass 100 Premier League goals and struck again at Arsenal.
“He’s a legend here for the rest of his time at the club, it’s just what he adds to that status over the rest of his career,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said after Vardy became the 29th player to join the Premier League 100-goal club.
Winning the Golden Boot would be another landmark moment for Vardy, who has defied the odds throughout his remarkable rise from non-league journeyman to Premier League champion four years ago.
Vardy’s next opportunity to increase his grip on top spot comes against lowly Bournemouth on Sunday.
The Arsenal forward has scored three times in his last three appearances to move into second place in the goal race.
Aubameyang has netted 20 times this season, his prolific form increased Arsenal’s desire to get the Gabon international to extend a contract that expires at the end of next season.
The 31-year-old is yet to agree a new deal amid reported interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain.
His value to Arsenal comes not just in his goals but in his ability to play wide on the left as well as up front.
Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham and a home game against Liverpool in their following game give Aubameyang a chance to put pressure on Vardy when the spotlight is brightest.
Having won the Golden Boot in 2018 and finished in joint first place last year, the Liverpool forward needs a late goal spree to make it three successive seasons on top of the leaderboard.
Salah’s brace in a 3-1 win at Brighton on Wednesday took him to 19 goals and, with Liverpool chasing a new Premier League points record, the Egyptian is likely to remain in the team even with the title won.
With nine assists this season, compared to four for Vardy, two for Aubameyang and two for Ings, the 28-year-old all round value to Liverpool is arguably higher than any of his Golden Boot rivals.
Next up for Liverpool is Saturday’s clash with Burnley followed by games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle to round off a memorable campaign that could finish on a high for Salah on a personal note as well.
The Southampton striker bagged his 19th goal of the season in Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Everton.
After a blistering run during the winter, the goals had dried up a little for Ings, but the 27-year-old has been back in predatory form since the restart.
Ahead of Monday’s trip to Manchester United, Ings’ four goals in his last five matches have underlined the former Liverpool forward’s case for a possible England call-up when international football resumes.
First, Ings will focus on becoming the first Golden Boot winner to play for a club outside the Premier League’s ‘big six’ since Sunderland’s Kevin Phillips in 1999-2000.
Chelsea suffered their first home defeat since April as Jamie Vardy fired Leicester to a shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Maurizio Sarri’s side paid the price for failing to convert their chances when Vardy netted early in the second half to hand the Blues their first defeat in five games.
Chelsea’s disjointed display surrendered an 18-match unbeaten run at the Bridge dating back to Tottenham’s victory in April.
Sarri has insisted he does not expect Chelsea to challenge for the title this season, the Italian rating Liverpool and Manchester City as “two steps ahead” of the Blues.
This was further evidence to support Sarri’s concerns, with Chelsea left trailing 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.
Chelsea remain in fourth place in the Premier League, but they are now above fifth-placed Arsenal only on goal difference, leaving them facing a tense bid to qualify for the Champions League in the second half of the season.
Leicester’s first win at Chelsea since September 2000 was well-timed for Foxes boss Claude Puel, who has endured recent reports he could be sacked just 14 months after he arrived from Southampton.
Chelsea almost took the lead in bizarre fashion after just two minutes when David Luiz launched a long ball towards Willian.
Luiz’s pass bounced on the edge of the Leicester area, prompting Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel to rush off his line, but when neither he or Willian could make contact, the ball bounced just wide of the empty net.
Pedro was inches away from putting Chelsea in front when he met Willian’s corner with a glancing header that flashed wide as Luiz stretched in vain to turn it in.
But despite their territorial dominance, Chelsea’s passing and movement wasn’t precise or fast enough to prise Leicester open.
Significantly, Hazard was again deployed up front as Sarri continued with the experiment of using the Belgian playmaker as a ‘false nine’.
Hazard has been less than effusive in his thoughts about the role so far, dropping hints that he would prefer to return to his usual wide position.
He remains by far Chelsea’s most dangerous player wherever he lines up, but there is little doubt his best performances come on the flanks.
Hazard had been the midweek League Cup match-winner against Bournemouth and he should have bagged his 100th Chelsea goal after pouncing on a slip from Leicester’s Harry Maguire for a fierce close-range shot that cannoned off the bar.
It was a crucial moment.
Ndidi’s thunderous long-range drive forced Kepa Arrizabalaga to make a fine save before Jorginho produced a powerful effort of his own that Schmeichel punched away.
Not for the first time this season, Chelsea’s miscues in attack proved fatal.
Showing the cutting edge that Sarri’s team lacked, Leicester punished a moment’s loss of concentration to snatch the lead in the 51st minute.
James Maddison slipped a perfect pass to Vardy, who escaped Cesar Azpilicueta before burying a cool finish past Kepa for his sixth goal of the season.
It was the first time Chelsea had conceded a goal at home in six matches and inevitably they turned to Hazard for inspiration.
Beating Leicester’s offside trap, Hazard cut in from the left for a stinging strike that Schmeichel blocked at his near post.
Sarri responded by sending on Olivier Giroud and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, allowing Hazard to return to the left wing.
But Leicester were defending superbly and Chelsea’s luck was out in stoppage-time when Marcos Alonso’s shot hit a post and rolled along the goal line to safety.
Sixteen contenders have been shortlisted for the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
The 16 for 2016 were named after a year in which British sportsmen and women had a lot of successes, including at the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio.
They will go into a vote on the night of the live show in Birmingham on Sunday, December 18.
Jamie Vardy makes the cut after helping guide Leicester City to the biggest title upset in Premier League history while Bale features for winning his second Champions League title with Real Madrid in May and being the standout star in Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign in the summer.
However, Andy Murray is heavy favourite to win the award, having ended the year as No.1 in the world rankings – a first for any British singles player in history.
The Scot secured victory at Wimbledon for the second time in his career, while he also won gold at the Olympics.
A host of Olympic and Paralympic athletes are on the shortlist.
The nominees are:
Nicola Adams – Boxing, Gareth Bale – Football, Alistair Brownlee – Triathlon, Sophie Christiansen – Equestrian, Kadeena Cox – Athletics/Cycling, Mo Farah – Athletics, Jason Kenny – Cycling, Laura Kenny – Cycling.
Andy Murray – Tennis, Adam Peaty – Swimming, Kate Richardson-Walsh – Hockey, Nick Skelton – Equestrian, Dame Sarah Storey – Cycling, Jamie Vardy – Football, Max Whitlock – Gymnastics, Danny Willett – Golf.