Sunday 25 February 2018

Jamie Vardy told me he'd try everything to make Leicester successful - 'Top'

Jamie Vardy has scored 22 goals for Leicester this season to help the Foxes win the Barclays Premier League
Jamie Vardy has scored 22 goals for Leicester this season to help the Foxes win the Barclays Premier League

Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha admits a heart-to-heart with Jamie Vardy helped turn the striker's career around.

Aiyawatt, son of owner Vichai, was concerned about the striker's behaviour after he joined from non-league Fleetwood in 2012.

Vardy has spearheaded Leicester's title victory this season, scoring 22 goals and becoming a regular in the England squad.

Leicester have won an improbable Barclays Premier League crown and will get the trophy after Saturday's final home game of the season against Everton.

But Aiyawatt, known as Top, revealed he had to speak to Vardy about his lifestyle soon after the 29-year-old made the leap from the National League despite the striker telling him he would play for England the day he signed.

He said: "It was a long time ago, when we signed him. I met him. I said, 'Come on, you have to improve'. I talked to him. I know he is very special in the way he talks, the way he thinks.

"I knew he could be a better player than that. You can see now. He is playing for England, top scorer for Leicester with 22 goals, maybe more. He shows he can do anything he wants.

"In the closed season he can do what he wants. He has improved. He know what he wants, what he can achieve, maybe more. You never know.

"(I have) No concerns at all. I knew he could be a great player. He told me he would play for England that day (the day he signed). I said, 'Come on Vards'. He said, 'Yes you will see, I will try everything'. He said he would try everything to make the club successful."

Vardy signed a new deal in February and Top would not rule out offering fresh terms to his team-mates with captain Wes Morgan having one year left on his contract and Riyad Mahrez in demand - but insisted players would only get new deals if they deserved them.

He said: "We have to wait until the end of the season and evaluate everyone. I am super fair and happy to improve if they deserve something. It depends on how Wes lifts the trophy.

"We will try everything that we can to build the team and to secure the same group of players and add some quality."

Press Association

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