Brendan Rodgers has backed Jamie Vardy to reach 100 Premier League
goals and insisted the Leicester striker was correct to retire from England duty.
Vardy has moved to 74 top-flight strikes and even though he is 32-years-old Rodgers believes that resting during international weeks will help him prolong his scoring for the duration of his contract, which runs to 2022.
Should Vardy achieve a Premier League century he would be the second oldest to do so based on age at debut in the competition. He was 27 years 232 days for his first game in August 2014. Only Ian Wright, at 28 years 286 days, would be older.
'I would say he would do that, absolutely,' said Rodgers of Vardy's 100-club prospects. 'It's 26 goals he's got to go and he's as fit as a butcher's dog. As long as he doesn't get injuries he'll have a great chance.
'But I don't want to trap the boy into pressure. For me it's getting him to enjoy his football and when you have that energy and happiness you produce good football. He looks after his life and he's a natural goalscorer.
'He is tactically very good. When you talk to him he's got a real in-built brain for football. You sense that. He watches and studies the game.'
Vardy stepped down from England selection last September and Rodgers understands that decision. 'You've seen over the years players doing this to prolong their careers,' he said. 'He wasn't going to be a starter and for some boys it is difficult.
'We've seen Paul Scholes and Jamie Carragher do it, they love their country but they love to play and it is the case that, "Well if I'm not going to play so much I'll devote my time to my club and my family." It was probably the right thing for him.
'Being a No 9 in the Premier League, and a top one, it comes with a lot of pressure and work.
'It is not just the physical work, it is the mental work. So the international break gives him the chance to recover and come back fresh ready to go again. The age he's at it was a good decision.'