Maguire tips 'nightmare' Vardy to replace injured Kane

Harry Kane's absence through injury may not be felt as much as expected by England, as Harry Maguire expects Jamie Vardy to step up.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City   -  Getty Images

Jamie Vardy has been tipped to alleviate the loss of Harry Kane for upcoming international friendlies against Netherlands and Italy by his England and Leicester City team-mate Harry Maguire.

Although Vardy is unlikely to ever reach the levels he produced during Leicester's incredible Premier League-winning campaign in 2015-16, when he scored 24 times, he is in fine form going into England's forthcoming friendlies.

He has 14 league goals in 29 appearances for Leicester this season, while he has seven in his last nine outings across all competitions.

With Kane out for a month with an ankle injury, Vardy is expected to start in attack for England against Netherlands on Friday.

And Maguire believes Vardy heads into the international break at the top of his game, ready to step up in Kane's absence.

"He is a nightmare," Maguire told a media conference. "I play against him in training, each day he is a nightmare to play against.

"You could ask every defender in the Premier League, I reckon they would say Vardy is one of the worst to play against.

"Week in, week out his pace frightens you. He is so quick. He causes trouble for everyone along the backline. But no, he works tirelessly as well, so he is a good player and I'm pleased he is on my team, week in week out.

"This year especially, coming towards the end of the season I think he has come on stronger.

"He is 31 but he looks after himself really well and I'm sure you can ask him but he is in great form, great nick and I'm sure he will be looking forward to it.


"Jamie has been playing at a very high level, especially in recent weeks. He is popping up with big goals at crucial times and been phenomenal.

"He has come to the England set-up full of confidence and I am sure he is looking forward to playing.

"We have seen over the last few years in big games, against big teams, Jamie normally scores. He has done it this year for Leicester and for England in the past as well."

When asked about Kane, Maguire added: "Obviously it's a massive loss. The form he has been in, he has been terrific over the last couple of seasons now and every time he plays for England he seems to score, so he is a big player for us, no doubt.

"But we have some good players coming in and replacing him and we have strength in depth in the forward areas that can hopefully score some goals over the next couple of games and then obviously Harry can get a good quick recovery and we can look forward to having him at the World Cup."


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