LEICESTER’S JAMIE VARDY GOALS DRY UP

By this time last year, Leicester City talisman Jamie Vardy had broken a Premier League record, scoring 11 straight goals in 11 consecutive matches.

The record earned him congratulatory messages from all quarters, including Ruud van Nistelrooy whose record Vardy broke. The fairy tale season continued all season and ended in him winning the Premier League with Leicester in May.

The result was a new deal worth £100,000 per week amidst a flurry of interests from top clubs. There were awards– like Sports Personality of the Year and Ballon d’Or nominations – invitation to the England national team amongst others. It was a remarkable year for Vardy but the player has quickly exited the spotlight and the goals have dried up.

The Foxes are set to play Sunderland – a relegation-threatened side this term – this weekend whilst being only two points above the relegation zone themselves. Vardy has now gone 15 games without a goal and his influence in the team is waning.

“Jamie deserves everything after what he did last season and hopefully being nominated for so many awards gives him energy. I don’t see a difference with Jamie last season – only the goals,” Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri said.

Vardy was substituted in the 2-2 draw against Premier League entrants this term Middlesbrough in the last game, with his starting shirt at the Kings Power Stadium under threat. This was a player that Arsenal – as thrifty as they are – valued £22 million this summer, which the player later turned down. The players stats seem to be drying up. PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez also seem not to be at his best and it is affecting Vardy. The Algeria international has sent just two passes since the Burnley game.

Michael Owen has said that Vardy is not a natural goalscorer, surprising considering his 24 goals last term. Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has asked that Vardy stop “sulking” as the scrutiny and pressure after every game continues.