Jamie Vardy has always defied conventional footballing wisdom.
It isn’t usual for a striker to rise from the depths of non-league to score their way to the Premier League title, just as it isn’t usual for a centre-forward to win their first top-flight Golden Boot at 33 years of age.
But then again, Vardy isn’t a usual kind of player. Having fought his way up English football’s pyramid, he’s had to reach the top the hard way – and he’s still fighting now to stay there, by maintaining the standards he’s set into his mid-thirties.
Vardy is once again amongst the Premier League’s top scorers this season with nine goals in ten games and gave another reminder of just how crucial he is to Leicester’s successes against Sheffield United on Sunday.
After hitting the frame of the goal in the first half, the former England star endured a difficult afternoon against Sheffield United’s deep-sitting three-man defence as few shooting opportunities came his way. But Vardy stayed alive and eventually got his moment by putting away a 90th-minute winner.
For a 33-year-old to even last the ninety minutes is noteworthy in itself considering how physically demanding the Premier League is, but to maintain the fitness and mental sharpness to latch onto a James Maddison through pass and put away a result-deciding one-on-one is something else altogether.
In fact, truly highlighting just how impressive Vardy’s potency is when bearing in mind his age, he’s one of just four players aged 30 or over to have scored over six goals in any of Europe’s top five leagues this season.
And the other names within that elite club show how difficult a challenge that is. Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahmovic are genuine world-class entities and among the greatest goalscorers of this millennium, yet Vardy is holding his own against them.
It’s testament to Vardy’s professionalism and pedigree and with few signs of either relenting, who knows how many goals he’ll have by the end of the season – at which point he’ll already have turned 34.
Of course, the big question for Leicester is determining when exactly age will catch up with Vardy, and then working out how they’ll circumvent it – natural successors to a player who scores so consistently in the Premier League won’t be in copious supply.
In the meantime, though, we can only credit Vardy for continuing to defy traditional expiration dates for Premier League centre-forwards.
That’s just one of the reasons he’s been nominated for the GIVEMESPORT Fans’ Premier League Player of the Month award for November – you can vote for him below this article or by visiting https://www.footballfancast.com/fan-awards.