Jamie Vardy was named October’s player of the month, having scored four goals in three appearances to help maintain Leicester’s unlikely pursuit of qualification for the Champions League. In addition to his finish against Burnley, the rejuvenated striker, whose retirement from international football denies England manager Gareth Southgate at the very least a further valuable option, scored a hat-trick in their record-equalling 9-0 victory at Southampton.
The focal point of Brendan Rodgers’ improving team that, through the talented James Maddison, Ben Chilwell, Ricardo Pereira and more, largely plays to his strengths, he is was nominated for the award alongside teammate Youri Tielemans, Ilkay Gündogan, Jack Grealish, Dean Henderson and Willian of Chelsea, whose manager Frank Lampard won the managerial equivalent. That he won for the fourth time – the previous occasions came in October and November 2015, and in April 2019 – means that only Premier League greats Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Harry Kane, Steven Gerrard and Sergio Agüero have more.
“We know his quality,” Southgate recently said. “I have always left that opportunity open. I don’t see the point at this moment in time because the conversation I had with Jamie was around looking at younger players in that position. It isn’t one for now but we keep monitoring that because you have a ready-made experienced player who could come in if we felt that was the right thing.”