Brendan Rodgers says he could be forced to rest Jamie Vardy despite his goalscoring form as Leicester face a run of nine games in 28 days
- Brendan Rodgers is keen to keep striker Jamie Vardy fresh for the entire season
- Leicester face a run of nine games in 28 days starting with Southampton
- Vardy’s two goals against Watford took his league tally to 93 since turning 30
Brendan Rodgers admits he may be forced to give Jamie Vardy a breather in Leicester’s forthcoming matches despite the striker’s stunning return to goalscoring form.
Vardy’s two goals against Watford took his tally to 93 in the Premier League since turning 30, equalling the record set by former Arsenal and England forward Ian Wright.
Yet Rodgers is keen to keep the 34-year-old fresh for the entire season and with Leicester facing a run of nine games in 28 days, he has to use him carefully.
Brendan Rodgers (L) admits he may be forced to give Jamie Vardy (R) a rest despite his form
The striker has been in goalscoring form but Leicester face a run of nine games in 28 days
After the match at Southampton, Leicester travel to Aston Villa on Sunday before a crucial trip to Napoli in the Europa League on December 9. On December 12 and 16, they take on Newcastle and Tottenham respectively.
‘At 34 he still has the hunger and will to achieve and while he’s playing like that, he’s a real pain for the opposition,’ said Rodgers. ‘Most players want to play every minute but as manager you have to decide what’s best to keep the intensity in the team.
‘You can’t get too emotional about it. Jamie will be a threat whether he starts or comes on, and if he’s not involved he’ll be ready for the next game. I have always been very transparent with him.
‘For the Europa League games on Thursdays, we’ve given chances to other strikers to give Jamie the opportunity to recover and play, and this game is on a Wednesday after a Sunday.
Vardy score twice against Watford to take his tally in the Premier League to 93 since turning 30
‘The team is not built around one guy. It’s about the collective. We’ve got other players to come in and you’re not just thinking of the individual.’
Having won 26 England caps, Vardy stepped away from international football after the 2018 World Cup, giving him more time to recharge during the season, and also installed a cryotherapy chamber at his own home to aid recovery.
Cryotherapy involves athletes subjecting themselves to extremely low temperatures for short periods, designed to reduce inflammation and ease pain. Cristiano Ronaldo is another devotee and recently had a chamber costing about £50,000 brought to Manchester.
‘Jamie is very focused on prolonging his career and knows he needs to be as healthy as possible,’ said Rodgers. ‘A big part of that at his age is the recovery process. He has invested a lot of his own money so he can recover at home as well as at the training ground.’