Speaking on BBC Radio, blunt-talking pundit Robbie Savage threw his hat into the ring by suggesting Manchester United should sign Premier League record holder Jamie Vardy mid-season and this opinion is actually more rational than it may immediately sound.
Fellow analyst Kevin Kilbane vehemently disagreed with the Welshman in the 5 Live studio though, saying Leicester’s sensational striker couldn’t prosper at Old Trafford due to the opposing styles of the two clubs.
Kilbane also has a point. It’s obvious that the Foxes’ counter-attacking style is suited to the electric speed and ability to time runs behind defences that, alongside finishing, are Vardy’s finest attributes.
However, just because Louis van Gaal’s possession-first tactics make counter attacking a far rarer sight at United, it doesn’t mean Vardy couldn’t alter the way the Red Devils went about their business.
Savage’s main point is about adding pace to Man Utd’s pedestrian forward line, a dimension that has been sorely lacking.
Van Gaal’s growing army of critics from within the club’s fanbase, and wider media, have all called the Dutchman out on his side’s painfully-slow build-up play. This is an opinion largely justified by United returning nine Premier League goals than Leicester after the 1-1 draw.
Although teenager Anthony Martial has a turn of speed, even the Frenchman is more reliant on his ability to beat a player over the kind of raw pace associated with Vardy.
Meanwhile, the ageing legs of Wayne Rooney, never blessed with genuine speediness even in his heyday, are far more suited to a withdrawn playmaker role in 2015/16.
If Vardy was in United’s team, then the remit of their myriad central playmakers would surely change to accommodate a bone-fide number nine, not a wide forward, who plays purely on the shoulder of the last man.
United have had a few success stories deploying archetypal poacher types down the years, with names such as Andrew Cole, Ruud Van Nistlerooy and Javier Hernandez springing to mind.
Other than his swiftness, Vardy’s eye for goal is a commodity United cannot ignore when Juan Mata’s return of four Premier League strikes is the highest in the ranks heading into December.
Harry Kane’s ability to put the ball in the net has consistently seen the Tottenham striker placed on theoretical Old Trafford shopping lists since May, but the chances of Spurs letting their great hope leave this winter are zero.
Much has been made of Vardy not wishing to jeopardise his situation of playing every week for Leicester with the Euros on the horizon.
However, it’s far more plausible that Leicester be financially coerced into letting Vardy leave and the player himself, who is no spring chicken at 28, realising he may never get the opportunity to join such a huge club again.
Given the current output at United, there isn’t much to say that Vardy couldn’t make himself indispensible for the rest of the season at Old Trafford – thereby virtually sealing his spot in France next summer.
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