Belfast Telegraph

Craig Shakespeare confident Jamie Vardy has moved on from Arsenal drama

Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare believes Jamie Vardy has forgotten his Arsenal drama.

The striker returns to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday for the first time since turning down a £20million move to the Gunners last summer.

Arsenal triggered Vardy's release clause at Leicester but he opted to sign a four-year deal at the King Power Stadium, having scored 24 goals to fire them to a shock Premier League title.

The England forward appeared to suffer a hangover from the decision after a slow start to the season but Shakespeare feels he has now moved on after last year's transfer troubles.

"I think all players will go through peaks and troughs, they have that and they have to stay mentally tough, which Jamie did," he said.

"Players can't think, 'If I have one bad game maybe I made the wrong decision'.

"It's about rolling your sleeves up and making sure you turn those indifferent performances into good performances and you see the Jamie that we're seeing out here at the moment, playing full of confidence but a goal threat as well."

Vardy scored just six times for the Foxes before Christmas but has nine goals in his last 13 games for Leicester and England, with Shakespeare now expecting even more.

"I'm reluctant to say yes (he is back to his best) as I want more from him, but his goalscoring of late has been very good," he said.

"I think strikers go through purple patches, then there are the dark times when whatever they hit doesn't go in.

"At the moment, you see a player full of confidence and full of running, we need a Jamie Vardy threatening defenders, getting on the shoulders and being a goal threat as well."

Vardy could further dent Arsenal's top four hopes as they sit seventh and in danger of missing out on a Champions League spot for the first time since 1997 .

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is yet to announce whether he will stay at the club beyond this season with his current deal expiring in the summer, with reports suggesting a two-year contract is on the table.

But Shakespeare says Wenger remains revered in the game.

He said: "It's what, eight FA Cup finals and never finished out the top four? It's still a decent record. From football people, coaches and managers, whenever you go on courses he is held in real high esteem.

"From my point of view it's always good to be in his company. Of course you come under scrutiny in different aspects, I understand that, being the size of the club."

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