Jamie Vardy has been stuck on 99 Premier League goals for FOUR MONTHS… now Leicester’s weak restart is holding back his fairytale journey from non league to rubbing shoulders with legends in the 100 club
- Jamie Vardy may become the 29th player to reach 100 Premier League goals
- Vardy reached 99 goals in March prior to the football hiatus amid Covid-19
- He is likely to reach 100 goals faster than Romelu Lukaku and Wayne Rooney
Jamie Vardy is on the brink of becoming the 29th player to reach 100 goals in the Premier League.
The former England striker scored his 98th and 99th top-flight goals in Leicester’s 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa in March.
However, the enforced break in the football season due to coronavirus saw Vardy stranded one short of entering the exclusive 100 club.
Jamie Vardy need one more goal to become the 29th player to reach 100 Premier League goals
Should Vardy score again between now and the end of the season, he will have reached 100 Premier League goals in fewer games than Romelu Lukaku, Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Jermain Defoe.
Vardy’s achievement is even more impressive given his transition out of Halifax Town in the Northern Premier League over a decade ago, to becoming a Premier League winner with Leicester and the potential 29th member of the 100 Club.
JAMIE VARDY’S PREMIER LEAGUE RECORD
2014-15: Appearances – 34 Goals – 5
2015-16: Appearances – 36 Goals – 24
2016-17: Appearances – 35 Goals – 13
2017-18: Appearances – 37 Goals – 20
2018-19: Appearances – 34 Goals – 18
2019-20: Appearances – 26 Goals – 19
Total: Appearances – 202 Goals – 99
Fans questioned the club’s thought process when Leicester decided to spend £1million on Vardy in 2012 from then non-league Fleetwood Town.
Since then he has represented his country, scored in the Champions League, won the Premier League and netted 126 goals in 300 appearances for the club.
Nigel Pearson, who managed Leicester at the time, responded to fans criticisms of their new signing eight years ago.
He said: ‘When we signed him, people were saying we were mad,’ he told The Telegraph. ‘Early on, there was a period when he wasn’t scoring, and people were asking questions and moaning. There were rumours about him wanting to go back to Sheffield Wednesday, or even packing it in.
‘He had a crisis of confidence, but I said, ‘I’m just going to keep playing you’. There was a lot of ‘we believe in you’. It wasn’t all fluffy like that – there was probably some ‘f***ing get on with it’, too. We never envisaged him hitting the heights he did.’
Vardy won’t be the first non-league graduate to reach the 100 club, but he will be the oldest.
Ian Wright and Les Ferdinand became Premier League striking centurions after departing from non-league football when they were 12-years-old. Whereas Vardy was 27 when he made his top-flight debut.
Les Ferdinand (above) and Ian Wright made 100 goal club after leaving non-league football
CLUB 100 MEMBERS
1. Alan Shearer – 260 goals
2. Wayne Rooney – 208 goals
3. Andy Cole – 187 goals
4. Sergio Aguero – 180 goals
5. Frank Lampard – 177 goals
6. Thierry Henry – 175 goals
7. Robbie Fowler – 163 goals
8. Jermain Defoe – 162 goals
9. Michael Owen – 150 goals
10. Les Ferdinand – 149 goals
11. Teddy Sheringham – 146 goals
12. Robin van Persie – 144 goals
13. Harry Kane – 136 goals
14. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – 127 goals
15. Robbie Keane -126 goals
16. Nicolas Anelka – 125 goals
17. Dwight Yorke – 123 goals
18. Steven Gerrard – 120 goals
19. Ian Wright – 113 goals
19. Romelu Lukaku – 113 goals
21. Dion Dublin – 111 goals
22. Emile Heskey – 110 goals
23. Ryan Giggs – 109 goals
24. Peter Crouch – 108 goals
25. Paul Scholes – 107 goals
26. Darren Bent – 106 goals
27. Didier Drogba – 104 goals
28. Matt Le Tissier – 100 goals
Despite becoming one of the sharpest strikers in the Premier League, Vardy’s lifestyle has not always been by the book.
In his autobiography, he admitted to drinking port the night before matches during Leicester’s title-winning season and dissolving Skittles into his vodka.
Regardless of his unusual habits, Vardy has become an inspiration to Leicester’s youth players.
Vardy made his England debut in 2015 and went on to hit the ground running when the domestic season returned that year.
He scored and provided two assists in the first three matches before a record-breaking run of 11 consecutive games in which he found the net.
Having broken Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record, Vardy was the driving force behind the Foxes unlikely league title in 2016.
Vardy retired from international football in 2018 to prolong his club career at Leicester
Vardy is a club hero, scoring in 11 consecutive games to see Leicester win the title in 2016
Fast forward to now, and Vardy has 19 goals in the 2019-20 campaign so far and is currently leading the race for the Premier League Golden Boot.
Only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mohamed Salah have more goals than him over the last two seasons.
However, Vardy is yet to find the net since returning to football following the coronavirus suspension.
Since returning to action, Leicester are not only getting fewer shots away per game; they are also having fewer opportunities from inside the box since the restart.
Vardy operates well within the penalty box and the lack of possession in such an area has seen him struggle to create valuable opportunities in his first three games back.
Leicester are also attempting more crosses from open play each game since the restart, which does not play to Vardy’s strengths.
Vardy has scored just 12 headers from his 99 goals across six seasons. Whereas his right foot has accounted for 62 of his goals.
Vardy is just one goal away from hitting 100, but has failed to score since football has returned
Leicester have failed to get the ball into the box as frequently, leaving Vardy short of options
That being said, Vardy is still producing the most shots on target for his side regardless of the drought.
It is believed that Vardy’s withdrawal from International football has helped in flourish in the Premier Leauge.
The 33-year-old stepped aside from international duty in 2018 following England’s defeat in the World Cup semi-final against Croatia.
Rodgers believes the decision has allowed Vardy to ‘refresh’ and ‘do some work in isolation at the club’ to prolong his domestic playing career.
Although time with eventually take its toll on Vardy, there have been no signs as of yet that striker, who turned 33 in January, will slow down.
JAMIE VARDY BEST PREMIER LEAGUE GOALS
1. March 11, 2015 West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City
Vardy picked up the ball along the halfway line, drove to the corner of the box and hammered home Leicester’s third goal into the far corner.
2. November 28, 2015 Leicester City vs Manchester United
Vardy’s goal against Manchester United saw him break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record by scoring 11 goals in 11 games. Christian Fuchs floated a ball through for Vardy, who picked it up in behind the defence and slotted it home before celebrating with his team.
3. February 2, 2016 Leicester City vs Liverpool
Jamie Vardy’s goal against Liverpool was one of the most sensational volley’s to come from the 2016 season. Vardy struck the ball into the far corner of the goal from outside of the box to give the Foxes the lead. This was the goal that convinced the fans that the title-winning season was possible.
4. September 20, 2014 Leicester City vs Manchester United
This goal was the ‘birth’ of Vardy in the Premier League. The striker picked up the ball in United’s half and drove towards the corner of the box. Some quick feet saw him bypass the defender in a 1v1 battle, to then fire it home for the Foxes. His goal made it eight wins in a row for Leicester.
5. March 10, 2018 West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City
Only Vardy could have scored such an impossible finish. The Leicester talisman timed his run perfectly and watched the overhead ball onto his foot with the upmost precision as he volleyed it home for the Foxes. Many players would have struggled to make contact with the ball, let alone score.
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