Liverpool, in case one hadn’t noticed, have themselves a scoring problem. They have one fit striker in Christian Benteke, who cost £32.5M last summer and is continuing his career habit of scoring a goal in every two games. The problem? His presence seems entirely at odds with the rest of Liverpool’s attack, making it look as though the team as a whole is only capable of scoring one in two when he’s out there.
Without Benteke, Liverpool’s attack looks far more fluid, far more dangerous, and far more capable of creating chances. The problem? There’s nobody out there to finish moves off and put those chances away. All three of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, and Danny Ings look as though they could fit the bill, but all three are currently out injured and only Origi would seem to have any realistic hope of playing a significant role this season.
The solution? According to the Daily Star and a small smattering of likeminded English tabloids, Liverpool are ready to throw £25M at flavour of the month Jamie Vardy, who has 15 goals and five assists in Premier League action this season. The problem? Well, he is 29 years of age and has had just the six good months at the top level to cap what until this season was at best a mostly workmanlike career in the lower leagues.
Last season, Vardy had just five Premier League goals in 34 Premier League games. Before that, in the Championship, he had 16 in 37 and five in 26 the two previous seasons. He’s rounded into form now, but it's at an age when most strikers are slowing down, and in the four years he’s spent playing football at the professional level his return has been less than a goal in every two games. That would make £25M a massive gamble.
Vardy is 29 years old and has been mostly average—or a bit worse than that—in his three previous seasons. Before that, he played in the semi-professional Conference Premier, Conference North, and Norther Premier League. He’s a good story—very public racist incidents aside at least. A rags to riches late bloomer. A player who was never supposed to make it at the highest levels who has quite suddenly and unexpectedly made it.
He isn’t a realistic target for the club, and anyone imagining Liverpool really are prepared to throw £25M at a 29-year-old who’s had six good months need their head examined. Even without Vardy’s baggage, that’s too big a gamble on a player with too small a track record and who would have too little potential resale value should he not pan out.