Jamie Vardy is one of the all-time greats in the Premier League, not just for Leicester City, his manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted.
Vardy will celebrate 10 years as a Leicester City player on Wednesday, one day before the club’s next match against Chelsea. The striker joined in a £1million deal from Fleetwood in May 2012.
It has to go down as one of the best pieces of business the Premier League has ever seen. Vardy has since gone on to lift the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield trophies.
His story of going from non-league to the Championship, and then onto even bigger things as a top-flight footballer, deserves appreciation from all.
Manager Rodgers certainly thinks so, labelling Vardy as “unique” ahead of what could be his 383rd appearance for the club.
“I think he’s a real icon of Leicester and of the league,” Rodgers said on Tuesday.
“I think his journey – coming into professional football at 25 and scoring his first Premier League goal at 27, to go on and score the goals he has and to have the impact he has had, he is such a unique player.
“We’ve seen it before with other players like Ian Wright coming through and playing at the highest level.
“But Jamie’s story, from playing FA Cup qualifiers to going on to win the FA Cup and win the Premier League, to playing in the Champions League, he really is a great of this football club but also the Premier League, you put him up there with the top strikers.
Vardy impact still apparent for Rodgers
“Thankfully you’ve seen him in his last few games, he’s now getting his fitness. Unfortunately for us he hasn’t been able to play as much as we’d have liked this season.
“But you see the impact he would have had on our team. His pace is still there, his cuteness, his cleverness and his bravery is still very much there.
“Clearly he was a good signing for the club back then and £1m looks an absolute bargain 10 years later.”
Vardy has scored 163 goals across his Leicester City career and also became an England international between 2015 and 2018. In that time, he earned 26 caps and scored seven goals.
This season, injuries have hampered the 35-year-old’s continuity, but he has still managed 16 goals from 30 appearances in all competitions. He can carry those impressive numbers into his 11th Leicester season, which will be the final one of his current contract.