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Leicester loyalty ‘cements Vardy legacy’, says Rodgers

Leicester loyalty ‘cements Vardy legacy’, says Rodgers

FOOTBALL: Brendan Rodgers says Jamie Vardy’s decision to stay at Leicester has cemented his legacy at the King Power Stadium after the striker joined the Premier League’s “100 club”.

FootballPremier-League
By AFP

Tuesday 7 July 2020, 03:30PM


Fox in the box: Jamie Vardy reached 101 Premier League goals in the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace last Saturday (July 4) and has cemented his place as a Leicester City legend, says boss Brendan Rodgers. Photo: AFP

Fox in the box: Jamie Vardy reached 101 Premier League goals in the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace last Saturday (July 4) and has cemented his place as a Leicester City legend, says boss Brendan Rodgers. Photo: AFP

The striker turned down the chance to join Arsenal in 2016, just weeks after spearheading the Foxes’ Premier League title success.

Other members of that Leicester team including N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater made big-money moves.

On Saturday (July 4) Vardy, 33, scored his 100th Premier League goal, 206 games after becoming the first £1 million (B39mn) signing from a non-league club (Fleetwood Town) when he joined Leicester in 2012.

Of the 29 players to have become Premier League centurions, only Ian Wright (28 years 286 days) made his debut in the competition at an older age than Vardy (27 years 232 days).

Leicester manager Rodgers said: “I think as things stand he’s a legend here now for the rest of his time at the club – it’s just what he adds to that status over the rest of his career.

“It’s hard to knock players if they do want to move on because their careers are so short but he’s obviously felt really comfortable.

“He’s found a real home here. He is adored by the supporters and they absolutely love him.”

Vardy scored twice in the Foxes’ 3-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday, reaching the 100 milestone with the first of those goals.

Remarkable’

Meanwhile, Rodgers believes his team can finish in the top four again despite a tight race, with fifth-placed Manchester United just three points behind them.

The Foxes travel to Arsenal this evening (July 7) as they battle to return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2016/17.

Leicester are third in the Premier League table after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace ended their four-match winless streak in all competitions since the coronavirus hiatus.

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Rodgers believes his team can finish in the top four again despite a tight race, with fifth-placed Manchester United just three points behind them.

“There’s no doubt, we have shown over 33 games our talent. OK, we’re maybe missing some players but as a squad we’re very focused on achieving it and we’ll fight to the final whistle,” Rodgers said.

“What the players have done has been remarkable. I’m pretty clear on that and getting the perspective of it all.

“If you think of the two teams in front of us (Liverpool and Manchester City), two of the greatest teams the Premier League has produced, for us to be second in the league from a defensive perspective and third-highest goalscorers means the players have been brilliant.

“The league is so competitive, not just the so-called top clubs, for us to be amongst it shows the level of performance.”

Arsenal boosted their slim chances of reaching the Champions League with an impressive 2-0 win at Wolves on Saturday.

The Gunners have won their past three league games without conceding to sit seventh, nine points behind the Foxes.

Rodgers has been impressed by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta since he replaced the sacked Unai Emery in December.

“Mikel has done very well, he has gone into a club with huge expectation which he knows. He has gone in on his first job and how he has dealt with it has been outstanding,” Rodgers said.

“You can see the style and it’s not an easy style to implement, especially at a club wanting to challenge straight away.”

- Leicester travel to Arsenal in the Premier League this evening, kick-off 8:15pm GMT (2:15 am Wednesday Phuket time).

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