Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers admits he’s having to manage Jamie Vardy through games.
Vardy, the club’s leading scorer for the past seven seasons, was dropped at Brighton a fortnight ago and though replacements Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho both scored, they missed his leadership.
The 35-year-old talisman is hoping for a recall at Tottenham on Saturday with Leicester having taken only one point from six matches, but Rodgers acknowledges it’s a difficult balancing act.
“Jamie understands where he’s at,” said Rodgers. “He is 36 in January and knows he can’t go on for ever. We just have to manage him to get the best possible version.
“When I came here in 2019 people were writing him off then, and we’ve had a fantastic few years out of him.
“It’s a challenge for any player, especially the top ones, when the time comes that you’re not used quite like you were before. It’s always difficult to accept. However, you’ve got to try to support the team and the collective and then do the very best you can when you’re asked to play. He does everything he can to look after himself.”
He added, “The two guys (Daka and Iheanacho) did very well in the last game but you can never write off Jamie because he still has that hunger, drive and desire,’ added Rodgers.
“I don’t think I can expect of him what he was doing five years ago. We just have to maximise what he has, whether that’s for an hour, 90 minutes or 30 minutes off the bench. All I want from Jamie or any player is that they put their foot to the floor every single minute.”