Jamie Vardy, the nippy frontman that spearheaded Leicester City’s charge to the 2015/16 Premier League crown has fallen under the radar at the King Power in recent months. This has been largely thanks to an insufferable media frenzy surrounding Riyad Mahrez‘s ‘nearly’ move to Manchester City.
Vardy, though, has not failed to make an impact but rather uncharacteristically gone about his business almost surreptitiously.
By netting the winning goal against Sheffield United last weekend, Vardy not only powered Claude Puel’s Leicester City into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup but also took his average goals per game this season to 0.5 – a number that would usually be deemed positive for most forwards plying their trade in the top-flight of English football.
Vardy to increase his goal tally against Stoke
The former non-league forward has already plundered 15 goals in all competitions this season, only one away from his entire total of last year. This is without taking into account his excellent form on the international stage, where Vardy has managed to rack up a respectable record of six goals in 19 games. As a matter of fact, he has found the net in his last five matches in domestic competitions. Whilst impressive, Vardy is still some distance away from breaking his own consecutive scoring record.
As a result of his ability to score with ruthless proficiency, he has become one of the undoubted stars at the King Power. Yet, Vardy’s goalscoring feats have gone relatively unnoticed. Since his Premier League debut in 2014/15, the England man has netted 60 goals; 19 more than any other Leicester City player. It would be fair, therefore, to assume that he would be the man to power the Foxes to their eventual targets.
One of the top-five Premier League goal-scorers
Vardy’s lethal instincts in front of goal have pushed him into the top-five Premier League goal-scorers of the current campaign. Impressively, he is ahead of the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette, amongst others. If he continues to find the net with such consistency, he will surely remain in those standings. This would be the first time that he would have achieved that feat since coming second to Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot in 2016.
The Sheffield-born striker has taken his finishing to a completely new level this season. Compared to the 2015/16 title-winning campaign, Vardy has a much better conversion rate. Currently sitting at 36 per cent, he has improved his chance conversion ratio by 10 per cent. Although not expected of a striker on the wrong side of 30, Vardy only seems to be developing his eye for goal.
Vardy boasts a 10.13 expected goal count
It’s the growing expectancy from Foxes fans that makes this particular campaign different for Vardy. Currently boasting a 10.13 expected goal count, the speedy striker is outperforming those numbers by almost three strikes; only the second time he has managed to notch numbers so high since his Premier League debut. This indicates that he has been finishing much more difficult chances.
Whilst Vardy’s outstanding record against the top-six is well-broadcasted, the way that he has stepped up without support this season has been admirable. The absence of Riyad Mahrez could potentially have put a considerable amount of strain on the striker, especially taking into account the exits of Leonardo Ulloa, Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa. The Foxes’ attacking options are severely limited and without the sparkling Algerian, the pressure has mounted on Vardy’s shoulders. However, he has taken that pressure and harnessed it – just as he did when the Foxes were storming to the peak of the Premier League.
If the club is to either lift silverware or achieve European football, it will be largely thanks to Vardy. Nonetheless, for the time being, he is going about his business in quietude, and Leicester City fans will hope that this is set to continue for the remainder of the season. Starting with Stoke at home.
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