Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has made a stunning start to the season, scoring ten goals in his opening ten games.
The 28-year-old has already doubled his total from the entirety of the 2014/15 campaign and currently sits four goals clear of his nearest rival in the race for the Golden Boot.
Naturally, the Englishman's fantastic form has led to speculation linking him with a January move away from the King Power Stadium.
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Liverpool, Tottenham and even Spanish giants Real Madrid are reportedly interested in the striker, but the in-form frontman should be wary of the risks of a move away from Leicester.
Vardy has enjoyed a truly meteoric rise to the top - just five years ago he was playing non-league football with Stocksbridge Park Steels, whereas now, he's the leading goalscorer in England's top division.
His career path has parallels with Rickie Lambert, who completed his own rise to the top when Southampton returned to the Premier League in 2012/13. The Englishman was released by Liverpool as a 15-year-old but managed to climb the footballing ladder during spells with Blackpool, Macclesfield Town, Stockport Country, Rochdale, and Bristol Rovers.
Lambert scored 15 goals during his first Premier League season and followed that up with a further 13 in 2013/14. His form earned him an England call-up in August 2013, at the age of 31.
The then Saints striker enjoyed a fairytale debut as he scored a towering header against Scotland, just two minutes and 43 seconds after coming off the bench. England manager Roy Hodgson would go on to name Lambert in his 23-man World Cup squad.
DREAM TO NIGHTMARE
In June 2014, Lambert made a decision that would drastically alter his career path. During the World Cup, Liverpool came calling and the boyhood Red could not resist a move to Anfield.
At the time, Lambert described it as a 'dream' move, but it quickly became a nightmare. In the space of a season, the striker's career was effectively ended as Brendan Rodgers showed little to no faith in his abilities.
He started just seven Premier League games, managing a mere two goals and - in the process - lost his place in the England squad. He now finds himself struggling to secure a starting berth at West Brom with his hopes of making Euro 2016 in tatters.
Though Lambert achieved his dream of playing for Liverpool, it's clear that as a career move, it was a serious miscalculation. The 33-year-old's experience at Anfield should serve as a warning to the likes of Vardy who, whilst a talented player, would be making a big gamble by departing the Foxes.
Though the 28-year-old has expressed no desire to leave, one would imagine it would be difficult to ignore the big boys should they come calling this January.
While interest from Real may be nothing more than idle gossip, bids for the Premier League's top scorer are to be expected this January. It's been well documented that Tottenham need another striker to relieve the pressure on Harry Kane, while the fitness of Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke will be a concern for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Leicester fans will no doubt be desperate for their star striker to stay, and with all things considered, that may well be the best course of action for the Englishman.
Vardy has a good thing going on right now - he's playing in a team with fantastic spirit that has responded superbly to the appointment of a new manager. On current form, the Foxes look certain to be a Premier League side for a third consecutive season.
With question marks over the fitness of Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, Vardy looks a good bet for Euro 2016 with England.
However, his spot on the plane could be put in jeopardy should he make a switch this January. Lambert saw his England career ended due to a lack of first-team football and it would be a crying shame if the same were to happen to Vardy.
His current form suggests he could hack it at a bigger club, but so did Lambert's when he moved to Liverpool. In short, Vardy would be playing with fire if he departed Leicester this January, and with a major international tournament on the horizon, it seems nonsensical to do so.
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