Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has discussed the importance of Jamie Vardy’s decision to snub Arsenal and remain with the Foxes earlier this summer.
The England international was at the centre of intense speculation last month, as he was heavily linked with a move to join the Gunners during Euro 2016.
However, as noted by The Daily Mail, he opted to reject their advances and sign a new four-year deal with Leicester to remain a key figure in their plans moving forward.
Ranieri has since suffered a setback having lost N’Golo Kante to Chelsea, and there is a fear that the Italian tactician could lose more players as he prepares his side for the defence of their Premier League crown this upcoming season.
Nevertheless, he remains delighted that Vardy decided to stay, and will now certainly hope that the 29-year-old can continue to deliver goals for the team.
“Huge. It gave a signal at everyone,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He could’ve gone to Arsenal, earned more and taken advantage of his final chance for a move to a world-class club. He preferred instead to stay in Leicester and it’s similar to the choice of the great Gigi Riva. Vardy should be thanked.”
Riva famously stayed with Cagliari throughout his career between 1963 and 1976, despite interest from the likes of Juventus.
Having also inspired his side to a league triumph, the Italian’s loyalty was widely praised, although in modern day football, Vardy’s decision was met with differing opinions.
While some celebrated his decision to stay loyal and think about his career in terms of Leicester’s style being better suited to his game, others questioned what they perceived as a lack of ambition and desire to join one of the top clubs in Europe.
Nevertheless, regardless of opinion, it will be interesting to see if Leicester can replicate their form from last season and if Vardy can continue to score regularly.