Jamie Vardy of Leicester City
It’s been a rotten season for the Leicester legend, with Vardy’s only league goal coming away against Wolves. Now 36, it’s the decline in performance that pundits have been trying to predict for the last four seasons. Still, despite the drop in form, Vardy is a leader and a key part to Smith’s plans.
With injuries to James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Ricardo Pereira, Smith’s attacking options were stretched, but with the manager wanting to take the game to Wolves, he elected to start all three of his strikers with Daka playing on the wing, Kelechi Iheanacho as a CAM, and Vardy leading the line.
From the start, Vardy was looking to directly impact the game and he nearly helped open the scoring inside the opening moments. His run was found by Iheanacho and he evaded the challenge of Sa to square the ball to Tete, the Brazilian’s shot, however, was blocked by a panicking Wolves defence – the winger is still looking for his first goal since his debut finish against Aston Villa.
It was the type of run we expect of Vardy and, whilst he did find it difficult to break the game open consistently, he was at it again when his curling run was found by Iheanacho, this time the striker drew the foul from Sa and a penalty was awarded. Having rolled his ankle in the collision, penalty duty was passed to Iheanacho who cooly converted.
Vardy was substituted at half time due to his ankle injury, but Dean Smith was full of praise for his forward following the game and gave the all-clear for Leeds during his pre-match conference on Monday:
"“His ankle’s fine, he’ll be training this morning and available. We put him in positions against Wolves that we want him in. The early chance, the penalty he won. Those are the sort of chances we need to create for him.” Dean Smith via Twitter"