Last year was a fairy tale season for Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and the striker will be hoping to emulate his heroics once again.
The England international scored 24 Premier League goals as he came runners-up in the top goal-scorers list and was voted the Writer’s Player of the Year. Alongside team-mates, Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante, the forward was instrumental in his side’s title-winning campaign and after turning down a move to Arsenal as mentioned on this site previously. They’ll be hoping to defend their title.
However, it may not go to plan for Vardy, who came from the ranks of Fleetwood Town in the Blue Square Premier, to the heights of the Premier League in just four years. Here’s just a few outcomes that the striker may endure during the 2016-17 season and there’ll be some he’ll be hoping to avoid…
Leicester City drop out of the Premier League’s top ten
During one of the most astonishing Premier League seasons, Leicester City went from relegation fighters to becoming the champions in just two years and Vardy’s goals were one of the most important factors in his side’s success. However, as other teams have strengthened throughout the summer and some of the world’s best managers have made the move to England, it could be even harder for Leicester City to lift the trophy at the end of this campaign.
Antonio Conte is in charge of Chelsea’s return to the heights and the Blues will be sure to make a comeback after their defence of the title took a dramatic twist last season and they spent the majority of 2015 near the relegation zone. Mourinho’s return to the Premier League has brought a whole host of stars to Manchester United and Pep Guardiola will be hoping to put a stamp on his parade with magic from across the pond at Manchester City. Ronald Koeman and Jurgen Klopp will no doubt look to progress in Merseyside and Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham will be out for revenge after failing in their title-chase last year.
Therefore, Leicester City’s defence could prove to be too much and as the saying goes, ‘it’s harder to stay at the top than it is to reach it.’ West Ham and Southampton will be sure to provide tough opposition too so the Blues could see themselves battling it out for a position in the Premier League’s top ten.
Jamie Vardy fails to score over ten league goals
N’Golo Kante’s move to Chelsea would’ve come as a huge blow to many Leicester City fans and Claudio Raneiri has his work cut out to try and replace the Frenchman in midfield. He was a catalyst for most of Leicester’s good work last season and his metal, consistency and strength in midfield will certainly change the Blues’ dynamics. Riyad Mahrez has also expressed his desire to move on to bigger and better things after winning the title and could be open to a move abroad. If the PFA Player of the Year does leave, it’ll be another huge dent in Leicester City’s squad and Vardy may lack the support he had last season to hit double figures. The England striker has great pace and movement but he relies on players like Mahrez to deliver the perfect ball in behind defenders and his absence could be costly for the striker.
His England career could falter
Harry Kane had a disappointing European Championship campaign for England but the Premier League’s top goal-scorer still kept Vardy out of the starting line-up for most of the competition. This season it could be even harder for the Leicester City man to make his mark on the national side for a number of reasons.
Firstly, there’s no major tournament this year and therefore Vardy won’t be given the opportunity to light up the world stage as may have done this summer. There’ll be fewer international games for the striker and he could have to battle against new faces for a starting position.
Marcus Rashford’s rise at Manchester United earned him a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad this summer but the youngster didn’t get much game time. When he did though, he looked composed and effective and there’ll no doubt be more to come from the striker under Mourinho at Manchester United. Daniel Sturridge could also make a return to form as Klopp looks to build a strong attack around the England international, bringing in Sadio Mane from Southampton. The pair could set things alight in Merseyside and Vardy could have to go one step further this season in order to impress.
Jamie Vardy could become the Premier League’s top goal-scorer
Alternatively, the Leicester City man could light up the league once again and make amends for missing out on the goal-scoring top spot last season. Kane’s confidence may have been knocked by his poor showing at the European Championships and after pledging his future to the Blues, Vardy could maintain all the attributes he showed last season to become the league’s top goal-scorer. As long as Mahrez stays, the pair could work their magic once again and tear opposition defenders apart. Maybe their hunger for more success will lead them on.
Vardy makes a January switch from Leicester City
After turning down Arsenal to stay with the Blues for another season, Vardy may come to regret his choice in the new year. The English champions will compete in the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history and it could prove to be too much for them title-winners and their league form could take a beating as a result. Kante’s move, which indicates a long-term desire for regular European action demonstrates the potential crash Leicester could suffer. Vardy may come to regret his decision in January and Leicester could cash in on the striker whilst his value is still high.