Former Premier League forward Charlie Austin has claimed that there is enough strength in depth for Leicester City to cope without Jamie Vardy.
The Foxes managed to pick up a win against Fulham last night despite the absence of their main goal threat, with Kelechi Iheanacho and James Justin getting on the scoresheet for Brendan Rodgers’ men. It’s a result that leaves them third in the Premier League table, and speaking on the BBC’s Football Daily podcast, Austin doesn’t see them letting go of that spot any time soon, even with Vardy out of the equation with his current injury.
He said: “That’s why we are talking about Leicester achieving Champions League football again and Europa League football – because of the strength and depth they have got in their squad.
“If you go through the Premier League and take out the main talisman of their team. Apart from the top four, top six, they will struggle. If you took Jack Grealish out of Aston Villa, they will struggle. If you take Danny Ings out of the team they will struggle at Southampton.
“Vardy taken out, he’s been injured, he’s got a hernia operation – they’ve kind of got stronger. Albeit, they lost at the weekend, [but in] tonight’s performance, they didn’t miss him tonight.”
Has Jamie Vardy been the best striker in the Premier League this season?
YES, HE'S THE LEAGUE'S TOP GOALSCORER AND BEST STRIKER
NO, GOALS AREN'T EVERYTHING, OTHER STRIKERS HAVE BEEN BETTER
TIF Thoughts on Charlie Austin’s comments about Leicester City without Jamie Vardy…
Austin’s words do need to be put in a little bit of context, especially surrounding a Fulham team who, whilst improving in recent months, still aren’t all that when it comes to being a Premier League team, as their recent results against fellow relegation candidates would testify.
And as he said himself, the Foxes’ recent result against Leeds, in which they had more shots and shots on target than their opponents, showed that when they come up against tough competition in the Premier League, they may still need that one key player to finish quality teams off – so perhaps not too much should be made out of one result from a match they arguably ought to have won regardless.
Meanwhile, Austin’s theory doesn’t just apply to the Premier League either, as with Leicester’s Europa League campaign just about to kick off again, they may need Vardy if they want to go far in that competition as well.