Rodgers puts Vardy among Premier League’s elite

Leicester City

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers claims Jamie Vardy deserves to be among the Premier League's elite forwards as he closes in on the 100 club.

The striker has scored 96 top-flight goals ahead of Saturday’s visit of Norwich.

He is also this season’s Premier League’s top scorer so far with 16 goals, having bagged a brace in Sunday’s 4-1 win over Aston Villa, which took him above Ruud Van Nistelrooy in the all-time standings.

Vardy, who is 33 next month, has scored in eight straight games – closing in on his own Premier League record of 11 – and only Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has scored more in Europe’s top five leagues this season with 17.

Rodgers said: “Jamie gives you that confidence because the evidence is there. He loves scoring and is a natural goal scorer. There’s a real inherent belief he is going to score and that’s his makeup.

“I’ll be so happy once he does reach it, there’s no doubt he will. It’s just a matter of time. To do it with his journey has been remarkable. He’s a phenomenal player.

“He is a humble guy. For him to reach 100 goals in the timeline he’s had as a Premier League player is remarkable.”

Leicester sit second, eight points behind leaders Liverpool, after a club record of eight straight Premier League wins.

They host the Reds on Boxing Day, five days after travelling to face third-placed Manchester City, but Rodgers is keen to deflect any extra pressure.

The Northern Irishman insists that he never looks too far ahead on the fixture list and claims that the Foxes will just continue to focus on their own game throughout.

Rodgers also believes the wealth of experience he has garnered during his time in charge of both Liverpool and Celtic is now standing him in good stead at the King Power Stadium.