A Jamie Vardy “masterclass” helped Leicester move within a point of the Premier League leadership on Monday – so are they ready to challenge for the title?
Vardy was involved in three goals, scoring one, as Brendan Rodgers’ side produced a “devastating” performance to win 4-1 at Leeds.
At 33, Leicester’s prolific goalscorer shows no sign of slowing down.
Chris Sutton – a title winner himself with Blackburn Rovers in 1995 – told BBC Radio 5 Live that Leicester’s victory was “another statement” to suggest they can repeat their triumph of 2016.
“Can they? They can, they did. People are saying, ‘Can they win the Premier League title again?'” said Sutton. “Brendan Rodgers’ team have been devastating. It’s another statement and a ‘watch out for us’.”
Rodgers would not be drawn on it, saying “it’s so early that it’s not really worth talking about”.
But after their joint-best start to a Premier League season – and with Vardy once again in blistering form – should Leicester be considered contenders?
‘No-one can replace Vardy’
Vardy has been directly involved in 13 goals in his past 12 league games. His performance at Leeds led to plaudits from ex-Manchester City player Micah Richards, who said on 5 Live “no-one can replace Vardy” and “he makes it a nightmare for defenders”.
“I remember playing against him for Aston Villa and in the first half, I absolutely bossed him,” Richards said. “I was stronger than him and I gave myself a pat on the back.
“But he kept coming and coming and his intensity levels didn’t drop. As I was getting tired, he was getting stronger.
“In the second half, he has as much energy. Defenders don’t know how to play against him. No-one can do that.”
Sutton said he was “just far too good” for Leeds’ backline and it was a “masterclass” from the former England international.
“It is all about Vardy’s movement, his anticipation,” said the former Premier League striker. “It is virtually impossible to mark. It’s brilliant centre-forward play. Vardy’s awareness is so, so good.