Leicester City may well be celebrating being crowned Premier League champions this evening, but the news that Jamie Vardy has claimed the Football Writers’ Player of the Year award provides a cause for concern ahead of the coming campaign.
Indeed, May 2nd 2016 could prove to be the greatest day of the 29-year-old’s life if Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur at 33/20 and guarantee the Foxes the title, with this prestigious personal accolade finding its way on to his mantelpiece simultaneously.
In winning, Vardy joins an elite band of players to claim the gong – the five previous recipients include Eden Hazard, Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie and Scott Parker.
Yet it is the fortunes of this previously heralded quintet that suggest the son of Sheffield will not be scoring goals for the Foxes in 2016/17.
Despite Leicester’s continued defiance of the doubters this time around, those who suspect they can repeat, or even come close to repeating their 2015/16 miracle campaign next season remain in the overwhelming majority and the prospect that Vardy – who has found the net 22 times in the Premier League so far – won’t be doing the business next term only adds more meat to their argument.
Hazard took the FWA award last term and promptly imploded this. In 2014/15, he scored 14 and assisted nine in helping Chelsea to the title, a positively bumper return compared to the two strikes and three set ups he has managed to date.
Suarez and Bale, who won the honour in 2013/14 and 2012/13 respectively, both left for Spain in the months after receiving the prize, with Barcelona and Real Madrid paying stratospheric sums to sign the duo.
The 2011/12 winner didn’t stick around at the club that helped him claim the crown either, with Van Persie leaving Arsenal for Manchester United in the summer that followed his FWA win.
His 2010/11 predecessor followed a similar course of action, though West Ham United got four games out of Scott Parker in the Championship before he moved to Spurs.
Whether it be courtesy of an unfathomable decline or a transfer away, the fates of the most recent FWA winners indicate Leicester will need another source of goals next season.