Jamie Vardy will turn 33 in January but the Leicester striker is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
He currently leads the Premier League scoring charts with 16 goals to his name to fire the Foxes into title contention under the superb Brendan Rodgers.
Vardy’s story is a real sporting fairytale – Roy of the Rovers stuff – working his way up from the lower echelons of the football pyramid to the top flight.
His goal record at this level is quite something; with 96 goals in 192 games, he’s just shy of having an average of a goal every other game.
The former Fleetwood man has scored in his past eight consecutive league games after finding the net in a 4-1 defeat of Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.
The last time he was on such a goalscoring spree was when the Foxes produced one of the biggest shocks in sporting history to win the title in the 2015/16 season.
From August to November that season Vardy was quite simply unstoppable, as he broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of goals in consecutive league games when he scored in 11 matches in a row.
Quite fittingly, he broke the record with a goal against Manchester United – the club Van Nistelrooy played for himself.
Vardy’s pace and clever runs in behind were key to that sensational title triumph, as the striker embraced the counter-attacking football played under Claudio Ranieri.
He kicked things off with goals against Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Stoke and Arsenal, before maintaining that form against Norwich, Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Brom in October.
At this stage Leicester were still not deemed serious title contenders, but Vardy’s goals ensured the Foxes continued to be the biggest talking point in a crazy Premier League campaign.
Vardy then scored a penalty in a 2-1 win at home to Watford to take him on the brink of Van Nistelrooy’s record, before he drew level with the Dutchman with a goal at Newcastle which helped Leicester to their fourth successive league victory.
Vardy then set a new record of goals in 11 matches in a row when he fired the ball past David de Gea in a 1-1 draw with the Red Devils.
While there were many Leicester stars who set them on their way towards an improbable title success, Vardy was absolutely pivotal to that dream being realised.
He ended the campaign with 24 league goals, a Premier League winners’ medal and a place in the PFA Team of the Year. He was also named Premier League Player of the Season and Football Writers’ Player of the Year.
CAN VARDY EMULATE HIS OWN RECORD?
Bournemouth (A) – 1 goal
Aston Villa (H) – 1 goal
Stoke (A) – 1 goal
Arsenal (H) – 2 goals
Norwich (A) – 1 goal
Southampton (A) – 2 goals
Crystal Palace (H) – 1 goal
West Brom (A) – 1 goal
Watford (H) – 1 goal
Newcastle (A) – 1 goal
Manchester United (H) – 1 goal
Burnley (H) – 1 goal
Southampton (A) – 3 goals
Crystal Palace (A) – 1 goal
Arsenal (H) – 1 goal
Brighton (A) – 1 goal
Everton (H) – 1 goal
Watford (H) – 1 goal
Aston Villa (A) – 2 goals
NEXT FOUR GAMES
Norwich (H) – ?
Manchester City (A) – ?
Liverpool (H) – ?
West Ham (A) – ?
Vardy is rolling back the years once more with Rodgers’ impact on his career undeniable – the striker has scored 25 goals in 26 games under the former Celtic and Liverpool boss in the Premier League.
His run this season started in the 2-1 win over Burnley on October 19, with things really taking off when he scored a stunning hat-trick in the 9-0 demolition of struggling Southampton.
Vardy also found the back of the net against Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Brighton and Everton – all games which the Foxes recorded victories in.
Watford were also unable to keep him off the scoresheet in midweek as Vardy netted a penalty, before he struck twice more from open play against Villa on Sunday.
Leicester’s next outing at home to Norwich presents a good opportunity for Vardy to score for the ninth game in a row, but the Foxes then face tough encounters against Manchester City and Liverpool either side of Christmas.
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If Vardy can manage to net against a Man City side who just cannot keep a clean sheet right now, he will have the opportunity to match his own Premier League record against Leicester’s title rivals Liverpool.
He will hope to score in a win which closes the gap between the Foxes and the Reds, and Vardy could then create Premier League history for the second time when Leicester visit West Ham.
A strike against the Hammers would make it 12 successive games with a goal – and a new record which breaks his own incredible run from earlier this decade.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, who recently signed a new contract with the club until the summer of 2025, believes Vardy doesn’t have his eye on breaking his previous best haul right now.
“I don’t think so, I don’t think it is. I think he just looks to the next game,” he said.
“For me, I’m not really bothered who scores as long as we win and play well, but Jamie is a real talisman and a fantastic striker and in that moment he has all the composure to score the penalty so he is very important for us.
“But Jamie is like ourselves, he is only worried about the next game.”
Whether Vardy achieves this remarkable feat or not, one thing that is for certain is that he is one of Europe’s most formidable strikers – actions, after all, speak louder than words.