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Vardy is 'one of the best in Europe' says Rodgers, as Leicester star targets goalscoring record

9:42 AM EST 12/7/19
Jamie Vardy Leicester City 2019-20
The Foxes' star man is outscoring Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in league action, and his manager has no doubts about his quality

Brendan Rodgers says Jamie Vardy is one of the best strikers in Europe – and there is plenty more to his game than goals.

The Leicester icon is leading the race for the golden boot, and is chasing a record of his own making. His current tally of scoring in seven consecutive Premier League games is nearing on the eleven he managed in 2015-16.

No player has scored more Premier League goals than Vardy since Rodgers took the reins at the King Power Stadium, but his manager feels no need to steal his limelight.

"The huge credit is to him," Rodgers told reporters. "He's an incredible talent who has all the attributes that big teams look for in their profile of a striker – fast and hard working. Through all my days, that's the profile of player I like, too.

"Coming into here, I knew he was one of best in Europe, and it was a case of giving him the confidence to show that.

"Sometimes players can get into their early 30s and be written off. But in seeing his energy and speed, it was a case of him fitting into how we wanted to work, which I felt would be fairly easy.

"And he wants to work, to run in behind, to press, so with how I like teams to play, he was a natural.”

In Europe's big five leagues, only Ciro Immobile and Robert Lewandowski have more league goals than Vardy this season. Lionel Messi lags five behind, while Cristiano Ronaldo has less than half Vardy's tally going into this weekend's fixtures.

Rodgers signed a bumper new contract at Leicester this week, keeping him at the club until 2025 and warding off interest from the likes of Arsenal.

The transformation Rodgers has affected at the club since replacing Claude Puel in the hotseat has been remarkable, but his priority was to lavish praise on his players.

As well as his nine goals in his last seven games, Vardy also has two assists to his name – highlighting a selflessness Rodgers believes goes under the radar.

"That's what makes him a joy to work with," said Rodgers. "He wants to score goals, but he also wants to create goals. He is a very selfless player.

"The work he puts in for the team, in his pressing but also his assist-making, his thought isn't like some strikers who are purely there to score the goals and think of themselves.

"That can be a good trait, but Jamie is very much a team player. Everything he does is in the best interests of the team, and when you have someone like that at his level, it's great to have that quality and mindset in the team."

Leicester travel to Aston Villa on Sunday looking to consolidate their standing in second in the Premier League.