According to multiple reports, Atletico Madrid are planning a shock move for Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy as the Rojiblancos plan for life after star Antoine Griezmann and veteran Fernando Torres.
Fernando Torres has already announced that he is set to leave the Wanda Metropolitano at the end of the season. The Spaniard scored 10 goals this season and was used in more of a sporadic role.
Antoine Griezmann had yet another successful season, scoring 29 times to lead Atleti to Europa League glory. The Frenchman could move to Barcelona this summer.
That just leaves Diego Costa and Kevin Gamerio at Los Colchoneros. Gamiero isn’t a first-choice striker and also features in a sporadic role. Atletico Madrid generally play a 2-striker system and the need for another striker is clearly there. Who better to bring in than Jamie Vardy?
Vardy started at the very bottom of English football. He always was a top goalscorer, scoring 26 and 31 goals for Halifax and Fleetwood Towns respectively in 37 and 36 appearances.
These performances earned him a move to Leicester City. His first season at King Power was one to forget. He scored 16 next season, winning the Championship and got promoted to the Premier League.
Although Vardy just scored 5 in his first Premier League season, they were all crucial goals. The next season was when it took off for Vardy and co. He scored in 11 consecutive league matches, breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of 10. He scored 24 league goals that season and was the Premier League Player of the Season.
Even when Leicester declined the next season, Jami Vardy struck 16 times. This season, the 31-year old once again hit double figures with 20 goals.
This season, Vardy became the first player ever to score against all of the top-6 sides in a Premier League season. He scored a combined total of 10 goals against them. In fact, 25 of his 60 Premier League goals have come against the big six.
Vardy has scored 88 goals and has assisted a further 24 in 190 appearances for the Foxes. Perhaps, this is the best time to move to a bigger club. At 31, Vardy may have one or two seasons at the top level. Leicester City have hit the ceiling and are far off European spots in the Premier League.
A move to Atletico makes sense for both parties. Leicester have always played in a counter-attacking style, relying on Vardy’s pacy runs in behind, playing off the shoulder of the last defender. They rely on Vardy’s individual brilliance, finishing and control to score goals. They create around 8 goal-scoring chances per game.
Atletico play in a similar way. Defending deep and then counter-attacking with speed. Los Indios also create about 8 goal-scoring chances per game.
However, Vardy isn’t a direct replacement for Griezmann. The French superstar was responsible for initiating counter-attacks, bringing the ball out from the defence. Vardy isn’t the one who initiates counter-attacks. He is someone who finishes them.
His instinct to poach goals is on another level. He is cunning in his movement and if Atletico get someone like a Koke or Saul feeding in through balls to Vardy, then no defender would be a match for the Englishman.
Vardy is a hard worker, knows to how score, has no problem playing in a defensive side.
“I like Vardy, I really rate him as striker. He is the kind of powerful striker Atletico have had. He also gives the team a lot of depth and makes life really difficult for defenders to get ball out,” said Simeone, in his press conference in April last year.
Will Jamie Vardy have a party in Spain? There’s no reason pointing against it.