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Brendan Rodgers hails Jamie Vardy as ‘real icon’ after 10 years at Leicester

Jamie Vardy celebrates another goal (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jamie Vardy celebrates another goal (Martin Rickett/PA)

Brendan Rodgers has branded Jamie Vardy a Premier League “icon” on the eve of the striker’s 10-year anniversary of signing for Leicester.

Vardy joined the Foxes for just £1million from Fleetwood on May 18 2012 and has gone on to hit 163 goals for the club, picking up a title winner’s medal and an FA Cup along the way.

The 35-year-old’s rise from non-league is football’s ultimate rags to riches tale, and Vardy proved there are plenty more chapters to write by marking his recent return from injury with four goals in his last two games.

“I think he’s a real icon of Leicester and of the league,” said Foxes boss Rodgers.

“I think his journey – coming into professional football at 25 and scoring his first Premier League goal at 27, to go on and score the goals he has and to have the impact he has had, he is such a unique player.

“We’ve seen it before with other players like Ian Wright coming through and playing at the highest level.

“But Jamie’s story, from playing FA Cup qualifiers to going on to win the FA Cup and win the Premier League, to playing in the Champions League, he really is a great of this football club but also the Premier League, you put him up there with the top strikers.

“Thankfully you’ve seen him in his last few games, he’s now getting his fitness. Unfortunately for us he hasn’t been able to play as much as we’d have liked this season.

“But you see the impact he would have had on our team. His pace is still there, his cuteness, his cleverness and his bravery is still very much there.

“Clearly he was a good signing for the club back then and £1m looks an absolute bargain 10 years later.”

Vardy is set to start against Chelsea on Thursday but Youri Tielemans needs a fitness check after taking a knock to the knee against Watford.