31 Oct 2015

Sign for Liverpool? 'Fantastic' £15m goal-machine wanted by Klopp equals Sturridge's scoring record

Rather predictably, Liverpool continue to be linked with a move for Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, and after the prolific striker scored his eleventh goal of the season today, is it time to start taking the link more seriously?

Last week, ESPN claimed:

"Liverpool and Tottenham are keeping a close eye on Leicester City's in-form striker Jamie Vardy, sources have told ESPN FC".

Earlier this week, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri suggested that Leicester will sell Vardy for the right price. He told reporters:

“If he [Vardy] wants to find a great club it would cost a lot. If big names want to buy him they [must] have the money. Not many teams can buy him now".

Vardy scored for the 8th league game in a row today, and equalled Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge's record in the process.

In the history of the Premier League, only Ruud Van Nistelrooy can top that. The Dutchman once scored in ten consecutive league games for Manchester United. It should also be noted that Reds legend John Aldridge also scored 10 successive league goals during the 1987-88 season (carrying on from the 1986-7 season).

Who's to say Vardy won't match that (or even exceed it) in the coming weeks? Vardy's stats this season:

* 13 goals/assist in 12 games (1 every 1.08 games)

* Goal/assist every 79 minutes of game time.

* 17 chances created (1.5 per game)

Some info about 28-year old Vardy, recently described as a 'fantastic' player by Ranieri:

* Non-league player until 2012.

* This season: 10 goals/2 assists in 10 games for Leicester (1.2 goals/assists per game)

* One of Europe's top league goalscorers this season, and is outscoring the likes of Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, and Cavani.

* Last season: 5 goals/10 assists in 36 apps (Goal/assist every 2.4 games)

* Leicester total: 36 goals/27 assists in 116 games (Goal/assist every 1.8 games)

Vardy is having a great season, but this is only his second year in the Premier League, and there's no guarantee he can make the mental step up to Liverpool, a club that's infamous for intense pressure and expectation.

Additionally, Vardy needs to prove that he can maintain his goalscoring over at least two seasons. Consistency is key, and he could just be going through a purple-patch right now.

That said, Vardy appears to be a clear upgrade on Divock Origi, so if the Belgian went on loan in January, then he is a clearly a viable replacement. Vardy is also (arguably) an upgrade on Danny Ings, and already has the same number of goals this season that Ings got for the whole of last season.

In fact, I can see a scenario where Vardy comes in and actually replaces Ings. It's going to take a while for the striker to recover from his cruciate ligament injury (and get back to his best), and in the meantime, who is going to pick up the slack, especially with Sturridge, and Benteke so injury prone?

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Author: Jaimie K


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