Linked with Real Madrid, but how important is Jamie Vardy for Leicester?
Jamie Vardy has come a long way since playing for Halifax Town, but just how valuable will he be to Leicester this season? So far this term, the striker has scored ten goals, already achieving the accolade of doubling last season’s total of five. Is it possible to nail down where has this form come from? The manager, the England call up, or is it just a stroke of genius?
Vardy has been ever present for The Foxes this season and has scored in eight of his ten appearances in 2015/16. These include braces against Southampton and Arsenal, with the former Fleetwood Town forward sure to add to this tally over the remainder of the season. After his most recent strike against Crystal Palace, Vardy joins an illustrious list of players to score in seven consecutive games placing him in esteemed company of Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer to name just three. This fine form also puts the front man among several big names in joint third place on Europe’s top scorers list; a group including Neymar (8), Müller (10), Aubameyang (12) and Lewandowski (12).
Vardy; 28, started his career at Stocksbridge Park Steels playing in the eighth tier of English football and 12 months later, was promoted to the seventh tier. Compare that to this year where the Englishman has made four international appearances and is currently sat at the top of the Premier League’s top scorers. Speaking before his first England Cap, Vardy said: “It doesn’t feel real. But there’s been a lot of hard work put into it. I’ve been given the chance now and hopefully I can take it. I had to pinch myself most days before I even got here” Vardy added.
The fox-in-the-box’s career has been something of a fairy-tale, having been through a lot in his time as a player. This includes being convicted of assault whilst at Stockbridge, playing with a tag, adhering to a 6:30 curfew, being rejected by Sheffield Wednesday because he was ‘too small’ and as a result, nearly giving up football for good. In stark contrast to these challenging periods, Vardy is now in the form of his life and seemingly enjoying every minute of it.
Leicester City have made an outstanding start to the season, currently sitting fifth in the table. Their new manager; Claudio Ranieri, has hailed Vardy’s performance this season as “fantastic”. The Italian will no doubt be looking to utilise Vardy to his maximum this season and why wouldn’t he? His performances have been second to none so far and Ranieri believes there is plenty more to come from him, saying: “It’s important for him that he doesn’t stop. He’s hungry and that’s a big thing. It’s a great position for a manager when you have strikers scoring goals.”
There is more to Vardy than just goals as well. The forward has created more chances, had more shots and made more tackles than any other striker in the league but these achievements would not be possible without the rest of the team. The manner Leicester’s victories is what is most impressive. They have played a free-flowing, high tempo game which is very entertaining to watch and is sometimes seen as ‘old-style’, but this is something which has suited Ranieri’s men down to the ground. The Foxes also have a comeback spirit about them having rebounded from two goals down on three separate occasions. This is something any team would be proud of.
Vardy is not getting carried away however, and has put his team’s success before any personal accolades, saying after the victory against Palace: “To be honest with you I’m just delighted we got the three points” The Yorkshireman added: “I still pinch myself every day, but I’ve managed to get to ten in ten games so hopefully now kick on again and we’ll see where I end up. Long may it continue.”
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Alex Hannam
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