I’ll just come out and say it: Jamie Vardy is going to be the Premier League top scorer this coming season.
Though the ups and down (mostly ups) of the recent past, the wildly inconsistent Leicester City have always had one thing that can relied on: Jamie Vardy bagging a bunch of goals.
He’s now 35 years old. For the last 3 summers at least there’s been talk of when he’s going to decline, and we’ve been trying to find a replacement for even longer than that.
It wasn’t Slimani, it wasn’t Musa, it certainly wasn’t Demarai Gray, it could still be Iheanacho or Daka, but this year it makes no difference. He’s gonna do it all by himself.
Injuries and tiredness
Vardy has adapted to slowing down slightly by becoming smarter with his body; making better runs and conserving energy instead of chasing every lost cause. The one thing I can’t deny is that injuries are getting to him more and more and slowing down his scoring.
Except there’s quite an obvious pattern.
Last season, he had 9 goals by December, when the fixtures become congested, and then he succumbed to a injury which took him out of the team and slowed him down on return.
In 20/21 he had 11 before Christmas, got injured in January and didn’t look the same until after the summer.
In 19/20, he had 17 before Christmas, then injury, then a dry spell. It’s like clockwork. Oh and we had no European games in 19/20, just like this year.
When he can play once a week, he can dominate. The only problem is when we get into December he starts to slow down and gets hurt.
Anyone remember what’s different about this December?
While the league’s best will be toiling in the Qatar sun, Jamie will have his feet up at home. He’s going to come out of the traps in January, just like he does every September. Absolutely on fire.
When was the last time Jamie Vardy wasn’t the above and beyond obvious threat that you had to stop to defend Leicester City?
Probably 2014/15, when Leo Ulloa was setting a club record 13 goals in a Premier League season?
And now, 2022/23.
James Maddison looks incredible at the moment. Finally, attention will be drawn away from Vardy for reasons other than the opposition having the ball.
You don’t need to look away for long and he’ll have it in the back of the net.
So that’s my very slightly bold prediction for the upcoming season. What are yours?