Jamie Vardy: Striker Sets Sights After Signing New Leicester Contract
- England striker excited about the Foxes building on maiden Premier League title
- Vardy says City have nothing to fear ahead of the Club’s UEFA Champions League debut
- Forward on-course for the start of the season following corrective wrist surgery
Jamie Vardy has set his sights on a successful future with Leicester City, after finalising his new four-year contract with the Foxes this week.
The Club agreed terms with Jamie's representatives last month while the forward was focusing on England duty at Euro 2016, bringing long-running speculation about the 29-year-old's future to an end.
After a summer holiday with his family, Jamie, whose 24 goals were the spearhead for City's first ever Premier League title win last season, has now put pen-to-paper ahead of reporting for pre-season training with the rest of the squad in Los Angeles in the coming days.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the lads again," said Vardy, speaking exclusively to lcfc.com. "It feels like a lot's happened since the end of last season, so we'll have a bit to catch up on and there are some new faces to meet, but the new season’s just a few weeks away, so I'm sure there will be plenty of hard work too.
"It's a big season for the Club as defending champions so we've got to make sure we're ready for it. Nobody expected anything from us last year, but it will be very different this time so we've got to be ready to hit the ground running."
It has been an eventful summer for the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year. Fresh from clinching the title with Leicester in May, Jamie married his partner Rebekah shortly before flying out to France with the Three Lions for the start of Euro 2016.
While speculation about his future continued to mount, the Foxes forward showed exemplary focus and became the first Leicester player to score for England at a major international tournament - a game-turning equaliser in a 2-1 win over Wales in Lens.
In the background, the Club and Jamie's representatives were reaching agreement on a new contract that will keep him at King Power Stadium until June 2020.
"I had total faith in my agent and the Club to sort things out, which left me free to completely focus on England and trying to help the team," Vardy said.
"We'd have liked to have gone further in the tournament, but it wasn't to be and we'll have to make sure we learn from the experience.
"It's nice to be coming into pre-season without the distraction of any speculation. My future's decided - I'm a Leicester City player and I'm absolutely delighted with that. This Club's been fantastic for me and now I've got to knuckle down again to keep helping to move it forward. I’m grateful to the manager, the owners, my teammates and the fans for the support they’ve always given me.
"What we achieved last season was beyond what anyone could have imagined, but we've got to go again. There’s nothing to fear. We're defending the title and we've got the Champions League to look forward to, so we want to make sure we do ourselves justice.
“The next few years could be really exciting for this Club. We all want to build on last season’s success and I’m delighted that I’ll be part of it.”
Jamie’s summer break has also included surgery to correct a long-standing wrist problem, which forced the Sheffield-born striker to play for most of his record-breaking season with his right arm in a cast.
He will report for pre-season with the injury still protected following the operation, but is very much on the mend.
“It happened in the Aston Villa game last September,” Vardy recalls. “The operation would have needed me to sit out for a few weeks, but I was desperate not to miss games. We were chasing something unbelievable and I wanted to make sure I was doing my bit with the rest of the boys.
“(Head Physio) Dave Rennie and the medical team have been brilliant in helping me get through and the plan was always to have the surgery after the Euros so I could be ready for the new season.
“Everything went to plan so hopefully I’m on schedule. I’ve seen the boys have done really well in the first couple of friendlies so they’ll be a bit ahead of me in terms of match fitness, but I’ve done a bit on my own during the break so I’ll be up to speed before long.
“I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Vardy will join the squad in Los Angeles, where the Foxes play French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday 30 July. Claudio Ranieri’s side then head to Stockholm for a meeting with Spanish champions Barcelona (3 August), before a date with FA Cup winners Manchester United at Wembley in the Community Shield (7 August).
The champions kick off the new Premier League season on Saturday 13 August with a trip to newly promoted Hull City.
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