Jamie Vardy has struggled to maintain his impressive goal average under Claude Puel this season but the Frenchman has insisted that his style can help the Leicester hitman prolong his Premier League career.
Puel has endured a tough season at the helm, being criticised by a large section of Foxes fans after failing to win them over early, while Vardy himself has been vocal in his doubts of the manager’s approach.
The 32-year-old forward has insisted that he is always happy to adapt, but said feels wasted in the new formation – leading to Puel being forced to deny a rift with the England international after he dropped him for a clash with Tottenham.
Vardy came off the bench in that game to score his 26th goal since Puel took charge last season, making him the club's leading scorer in that time. The manager admitted the striker is crucial to his squad, but suggested he needs to find new ways to apply himself.
“Jamie, he played a lot of games on [the] counter-attack,” Puel told BT Sport. “When we play against a team deep on the pitch he can’t have this space, he needs to learn, like his teammates, different moves.
“Against [Manchester] United, he had two or three situations like this in [the] far post but he must create this move for himself. It’s a different feeling, different things.
“From what I can see this week, I think he understands. He was very interested in the training session with good moves, good runs, good quality.”
Puel expressed his belief that his new style of play will help Leicester get the best out of their talisman for the years ahead. At 32, Vardy is already approaching the latter stages of his career and the Frenchman insisted the conservative approach will prolong his ability at the top level.
“I would like him to continue this way. For me it’s the secret to continuing at a high level,” Puel added. “Jamie has the potential to continue for a long time. I have a lot of patience – I’m an optimist. All players continue to work and improve until the end career. If a player stops learning and improving it’s the beginning of the end for me.”