After being released by Sheffield Wednesday in 2002, Vardy has had a long road to the top. He made his Premier League debut aged 27 years and 232 days old. Just 2134 days later, Vardy scored his 100th Premier League goal during a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace. This is a look at the first 100 goals and how he has managed to join the prestigious 100 club.
Jamie Vardy mainly scores one of three types of goals: predatory, running onto a through ball and penalties. The most frequent one is running in behind a defence from a through ball as it utilises his pace. However, the predatory goals are quite different. These are when he is already in the box and it requires sharper movement across or away from a defender.
Out of his first 100, 40 came from running in behind whilst 35 were predatory. He scored another 18 from penalties and four from set pieces, he also scored three other goals which include winning possession back for himself. Vardy does slightly vary how he finishes these chances. 63 (including the 18 penalties) were scored with his right foot, 25 with his left and 12 with his head. Most of his headers have been from close range after a rebound rather than the result of contesting a cross which shows his natural striker instincts, this is emphasised by only three of his goals coming from outside the box.
12 out of his 82 non-penalty goals came from a direct (two or fewer passes) counter attack in which he ran onto a through ball, this was the most common non-penalty goal he scored. The second most common was a non-direct (three or more passes) predatory goal were the ball was cut back across the face of the goal, 10 were scored this way.
Riyad Mahrez has assisted the most, 14, despite leaving the club in the summer of 2018. Mahrez holds the record for assisting Vardy the most times in a season, he did it seven times in 2017/18. Danny Drinkwater, who left the club a year earlier, has assisted the second most with six. Five of these assists came in the title winning season, 2015/16, this was equal with Mahrez that season. Harvey Barnes and Marc Albrighton have also assisted Vardy six times.
They each have their own way of assisting as well. Mahrez tops the charts for assists from a through ball, seven, whilst Drinkwater has four assist from a long pass, more than anyone else. Marc Albrighton has five assist from crosses, also more than anyone else.
Although 18 penalties out of 100 goals is a lot, most of these penalties were won by himself. This tally puts him in ninth for the Premier League all-time top 10, just ahead of Mikel Arteta and Eden Hazard.
Throughout his time in the Premier League, Leicester have had five different permanent managers and a caretaker manager. This has meant Jamie Vardy has had to play in different styles, from the direct counter attacking approach that won them the title under Claudio Ranieri to Brendan Rodgers’ possession based attacking football that has earnt them their second highest Premier League finish. The changes in styles of play have also seen a difference in the types of goals scored. Under Rodgers 51.8% of his goals have been predatory and only 31.8% have come from a through ball. As expected, this is very different under Ranieri as 55.2% were from a through ball and only 20.7% were predatory. Interestingly, Vardy scored the same amount under Rodgers and Ranieri (29) and the same amount of penalties (5).
After looking at his first 100 Premier League goals we know the quintessential Jamie Vardy goal, running onto a through ball supplied by Riyad Mahrez from a direct counter attack. However, with Rodgers as manager, in a few years the most common Vardy goal could be very different.
Vardy is the 29th player to score 100 Premier League goals and having won the Golden Boot aged 33, he’s shown despite his age he can still score goals.