Premier League
October 29, 2016

Is Vardy really a top striker, or a one-season wonder?

The truth of Jamie Vardy lies in between the extremes


Jamie Vardy was arguably Leicester’s star player in their remarkable title-winning campaign last season. Whether he was Leicester’s best player last season or not, there is no doubt that Vardy was a key figure in one of the sport’s most remarkable achievements. Since then, Vardy has been labeled a one-season wonder by some people, and a world class striker by others. Neither of those opinions are completely true, but there are aspects of truth in both of those arguments.

Vardy has never been a prolific goalscorer in the Premier League until last season. That fact above proves that there is an element of truth about the theory of him being a one season wonder but overall I mostly disagree with that theory. Vardy scored twenty-four goals last season which is considerably higher than his tally of five for the season before. With that in mind, I think Vardy scoring that many goals last season was a fluke but I still don’t think Vardy is a bad player at all.

The former Fleetwood man had a brilliant run at the start of the season finding the net thirteen times in eleven matches. The main reason for me thinking that his scoring twenty-four goalscoring season was a bit fluky is because if you take away that run of form mentioned above, he scored eleven in twenty-seven. Vardy would’ve scored around fifteen goals last season if you take away that run of form. Fifteen goals a season isn’t a bad goal scoring record whatsoever, but still not a ‘world class’ goalscoring rate; it was a run of form unseen since Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Although Vardy will not score twenty goals this season, his work ethic is so vital to any team he plays for. Vardy isn’t the most naturally gifted player if you compare him to the likes of Agüero, Sánchez, Costa etc., but he is still an integral cog for any team if you factor in his work rate and pace. If you break down his attributes one by one, Vardy isn’t the most naturally talented footballer. He isn’t great at passing, dribbling, finishing and isn’t the strongest; but his work rate certainly makes up for his lack of raw talent in my own opinion.

For me, Vardy is a very good striker for a team that doesn’t play possession football like Leicester. But given he lacks passing, dribbling and shooting skills, I personally don’t think he would do well at a possession side like Arsenal or Manchester City. Vardy is definitely a brilliant striker but wouldn’t make it into the top five Premier League strikers. By no means a one-season wonder, but not a world class talent either.

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