So what if Jamie Vardy‘s 2016-17 season hasn’t come close to matching the dizzying heights that Leicester City’s leading man hit in last season’s title-winning campaign?
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Sure, Leicester only just recently did enough to stave off relegation and secure their status as a Premier League club next season — and Vardy’s production has dropped from 24 PL goals last season, to just 11 this term — but that doesn’t mean Diego Godin will be taking the reigning FWA Player of the Year lightly when Atletico Madrid visit the King Power Stadium in the two sides’ UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg on Tuesday.
In fact, Godin has revealed just how highly he thinks of Vardy’s game and the threat he’ll pose as the Foxes attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit and reach the Champions League semifinals — quotes from the Guardian:
“He would fit in at the vast majority of teams in the world. He works, sacrifices himself for the team, and on top of that scores goals. Who wouldn’t want a striker who kills himself for you, then gives you attacking solutions?”
“A striker like that is fundamental for a team like Leicester that plays the way that they do. If they didn’t have that kind of striker, maybe they wouldn’t be Leicester, the team we’ve seen. He’s a great player, who fights and competes. Against Sevilla [in the round of 16], every ball that went into the Sevilla half he fought for; he never gave a ball up for lost. At the Calderon he was virtually alone and if he didn’t touch the ball often that doesn’t mean he’s not a great striker, quite the opposite. It’s because we paid him so much attention. We were focused on not giving him space, cutting off access to him.”
The more Atleti sit back and defend with numbers, the less space Vardy will have to run into and terrorize Godin and Co. Given the fact they’re protecting they’re protecting a one-goal lead away from home, you can expect Diego Simeone’s side to nullify Vardy’s greatest asset, his speed, in that manner.