Friday 15 December 2017

Shakespeare: Vardy close to his best

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare had high praise for Jamie Vardy (pictured) Photo: John Sibley/Reuters
Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare had high praise for Jamie Vardy (pictured) Photo: John Sibley/Reuters

Craig Shakespeare insists that Jamie Vardy is now showing the form that persuaded Arsene Wenger to pursue the Leicester City striker last summer.

Vardy will lead Leicester's attempt to record a first victory over Arsenal since November 1994 tonight, after scoring eight goals in his past 10 club games. The England star turned down Arsenal last July after Wenger triggered his £22m release clause, before agreeing a new £100,000-a-week contract.

Vardy struggled during Claudio Ranieri's difficult title defence but has been revitalised since Shakespeare's appointment as interim manager in February. And Shakespeare insists the striker can frustrate Wenger for the second time in 12 months as Leicester prepare to face the FA Cup finalists.

"Thankfully, he chose us and I don't think it (the Arsenal interest) was the reason for the slow start because he wasn't the only one," he said. "At the moment, he's banging in the goals and we need that to continue to the end of the season.

"I'm reluctant to say he's back to his absolute best as I want more from him, but his goalscoring of late has been very good."

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