Jamie Carragher believes Leicester City‘s £1million signing of Jamie Vardy from non-league Fleetwood Town is the best transfer in football history.
Carragher believes the striker’s influence on the Foxes means he trumps all other acquisitions over the years, including greats such as Manchester United‘s Eric Cantona, Manchester City‘s Yaya Toure and Liverpool‘s Virgil van Dijk.
Since arriving for the minimal fee in 2012, Vardy, 34, has gone on to become one of the most deadly strikers in world football, scoring 114 Premier League goals to date and helping Leicester secure a fairytale title in 2016.
Leicester’s £1million signing of Jamie Vardy is the best in football history, says Jamie Carragher
The Foxes were in the Championship when Vardy arrived but are now setting their sights on a finish inside the top four after another impressive season.
Vardy has been as crucial to Brendan Rodgers’ side this season as he was under Claudio Ranieri during that famous 2015-16 campaign, which Carragher believes is just one among several things that sets him apart from some of history’s other inspired signings.
‘That’s one of many reasons why there may never be a better transfer than Vardy’s from Fleetwood Town to Leicester – not just in the Premier League era, but in football history,’ said Carragher in his column for the Telegraph.
The veteran striker arrived from non-league Fleetwood Town in 2012 for a minimal fee
Vardy went on to help Foxes win the Premier League and is one of top flight’s deadliest strikers
‘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?
‘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.
‘They were established, international players and household names heading to clubs already building towards titles – the finishing touch to emerging teams.
Carragher believes acquisition is better than signing of Manchester United great Eric Cantona
Yaya Toure (left) and Virgil van Dijk (right) have had great influence but arrived for big fees
‘The Vardy story stands alone in that he joined Leicester for £1 million directly from non-league football and defied expectations. Whenever the story of English football is told to future generations, they will talk about Leicester before and after Vardy’s arrival.’
Vardy is set to return to the side after four games out when Leicester host Liverpool on Saturday, something Carragher believes will have made Jurgen Klopp’s heart sink ahead of the tie.
Despite injury disruption for Vardy this season, he has still managed to score 11 goals, still putting him in with a shot of reaching the 24 he managed when Leicester were crowned as Champions.