In 2014/15, Jamie Vardy scored five goals in 34 Premier League games. Other than a few fortunate punters, nobody could have predicted Leicester’s title win the following year or that Vardy would become one of the division’s most clinical strikers, smashing the ball into the back of various nets 24 times in 36 matches that season.
We’ve been through this before, but an interesting aspect of Vardy’s continued goalscoring form four years later at the age of 32 is that he hardly ever touches the ball – how can a striker influence play so often without getting near the thing he needs to score?
This season, Vardy averages only 20 touches of the ball per game. In context, teammate James Maddison has 67.5 touches per game while Spurs’ Son Heung-min has 56.75.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a similar sort of player, often found lurking off the shoulder of the last man and rarely seen linking play anywhere near the midfield, but even he averages 39 touches per game.