Jamie Vardy is still waiting to get his first goal of the season, while Patson Daka scored his second of the campaign off the bench against Nottingham Forest on Monday.
Jamie Vardy is still Leicester City’s spark but manager Brendan Rodgers knows he has to look to the future in Patson Daka.
City’s number nine is engaged in a battle for a starting spot with the Zambian ahead of the trip to Bournemouth, in what looks to be Rodgers’ toughest decision. Vardy, after two games on the bench, came back into the 11 on Monday, setting up Harvey Barnes’ goal, but his own wait to find the net went on. Daka, meanwhile, produced an energetic, confident performance off the bench, scoring his second of the season with an exquisite back-heel.
Rodgers believes Vardy is still the man to bring “that electric feeling” but suggested that could increasingly be from the bench as he looks to develop his side. He said: “I want Jamie to really enjoy this period of his career now. Of course he’s a goalscorer and he wants to score goals, but his importance to me and the club is much more than that.
“It’s not just about goals. The influence he has off the pitch is very important. Whether he starts the game or comes off the bench in a game, that is equally important to me now.
“For him, it’s respecting where he’s at in his career and also looking at the responsibility of others to step up. He did great the other night for an hour or so. We took him off, Patson comes into the game and brings that energy and pressing. That’s what we have to do to keep at the level at, we have to keep the freshness in the team.”
Daka, now in his second season as a City player, looks to have developed over the summer and now appears more comfortable being the sole striker in the side. At 23, there are plenty more improvements to come from him.
Rodgers said: “What you see is a young player, settling in in his first year, getting some appearances, getting some goals in the Europa League. He’s settled in well now. He’s become a father, so there’s that maturity in him.
“This is a team that is growing and developing, and that’s what we can’t forget. They’re young players, some of these guys. They’re young in life and they’re learning and developing. Patson is one of them.
“It was his first year of this way of working and playing and intensity. I can really see the change in him, and I’ve seen it since pre-season. You’ve seen it when he’s played, what he offers the team. I think that will only get better and better.”