Jamie Vardy’s Leicester City Revival

Leicester City have made an immensely strong start to life in the English Football League Championship. They recorded an impressive 39 points from their opening 15 fixtures in the second tier.

One of the key men behind their strong start was club legend Jamie Vardy. He endured a difficult season last year, recording just three goals and four assists. However, after dropping down a division, he has returned to the deadly threat that he was several years ago.

Vardy’s Championship form

Vardy scored four goals in the Championship in the opening 11 fixtures, meaning he matched his 2022/23 tally in a fraction of the game time. He also added a Championship assist and a goal in the League Cup this season.

The Englishman currently lags slightly in the race to be top goalscorer in the EFL Championship. However, Leicester’s ever-growing dominance should provide him with the foundations to mount a serious challenge to win the Golden Boot. His team are 4/11 favourites to win the league as seemingly none of Leicester’s rivals are likely to mount a realistic title challenge.

The leading championship scorer after the first 15 fixtures recorded a tally of 15 goals, but Vardy certainly possesses the ability to close the gap within a couple of matchdays.

How Vardy has evolved under Enzo Maresca

The Leicester manager Enzo Maresca has adapted Vardy’s role within the team to compensate for his physical decline over the last few years.

Vardy has visibly lost several yards of pace, but his quick feet and clinical finishing are still very much evident. Maresca has capitalised on that by using Vardy as a striker who operates between the opposition’s midfield and defensive lines.

The former England international often drops deep to link up with creative profiles like Dewsbury-Hall. This allows Leicester to dominate possession in the final third, while Vardy remains on hand to finish any opportunities that present themselves in and around the box.

In dropping into deeper areas, Vardy opens up more space in the attacking areas for his creative teammates. He certainly sacrifices some of his direct goal-scoring opportunities for the greater good of his team. However, Vardy is an incredibly proficient poacher who will always score goals regardless of the circumstances.

Another intriguing factor in Maresca’s usage of Vardy is how he balances his game with fellow frontman Kelechi Iheanacho.

Leicester have two of the best forwards in the division,  meaning that both can be rotated and only need to play when they are fully match sharp.

This could benefit Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot as he will almost always enter the pitch in peak condition, compared to his prolific rivals who will carry large match loads through the campaign.

In a 46-game season, managing game time is vital, and Maresca has the depth at his disposal to do so in the most efficient way possible.

Vardy seems to be well and truly back after Leicester’s relegation. In a brand new role and with well-managed game time, he has become one of the second tier’s most dangerous players in front of goal.

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