Home / Football / Premier League / Arsenal / The new Premier League deadly duo?

The new Premier League deadly duo?

View image | gettyimages.com

There have been some great attacking partnerships in the Premier League’s history but have Leicester City formed the best duo since Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge?

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been in outstanding form so far this season and their integral part in the Leicester side have hugely contributed to the Foxes’ position at the top of the Premier League table. This can only question where the England and Algerian internationals rank amongst past partnerships in the top flight and how far they can take Leicester this season.

Many duos have formed instant relationships such as Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn, while others built a strong partnership over a number of seasons like Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. Henry and Bergkamp at Arsenal were probably the best attacking force the Premier League has ever seen, with the Frenchman possessing the striker’s instinct and the Dutchman having the skill and technical ability to compliment Henry’s style of play. The highlight of their time at the club was the 2003/04 season where Arsenal went a whole season unbeaten in the league to lift the title. During their six years together at the club, Henry and Bergkamp scored over 200 goals between them, the majority of which from Henry, but their flair and creativity graced the Premier League like no others.

Before the likes of Henry and Bergkamp there was the combination of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke in 1998/99 and this was one of the more instant successful duos. Cole was already at Manchester United when Yorke signed in the summer of 1998 from Aston Villa, and the outcome of this newly-formed partnership was uncertain. They became one of Europe’s most prolific attacking collaborations however, scoring 53 goals between them and guiding United to the treble of the Premier League title, FA Cup and European Cup. They were well-known for their one-touch passing and link up play; a trait that the Red Devils are lacking in the modern game.

Going back even further there was the original ‘SAS’ of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton at Blackburn Rovers. They scored 58 goals in 48 games in all competitions in the season of 1994/95, with Shearer’s 34 goals and Sutton’s 15 goals contributing to Blackburn’s title-winning campaign. They were two very different strikers and this is partly why their relationship was so effective; Sutton’s aerial ability and link-up play was beneficial for Shearer’s natural goal scoring talent and pace.

The final deadly duo that deserves a mention is Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool from the 2013-14 season, in a campaign which saw the reds fall at the last hurdle to miss out on the Premier League title. Uruguayan Suarez was the more technical of the two, proving he could score from anywhere on the pitch and when playing alongside Sturridge, the pair were frighteningly exciting to watch. They were the modern day ‘SAS’, scoring 52 goals between them; Suarez finished as top scorer with 31 while Sturridge also racked up an impressive tally of 21. It was a shame the two didn’t have longer to play together as Suarez moved to Barcelona, because they would have gone on to great things with Liverpool if Sturridge wasn’t so unfortunate with injuries in the seasons since.

Only individual players have really stood out in the Premier League since Suarez and Sturridge, so with Vardy and Mahrez stepping up to the plate this may be the time for them to stamp their names in the history books. The two players have had a share in 16 goals each for the Foxes in the 15 games this season; Vardy has 14 goals and 2 assists while Mahrez is not far behind on 10 goals and 6 assists. Vardy broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in consecutive games last weekend against Manchester United so Mahrez has slightly been in his shadow, but the Algerian has been exceptional this season.

View image | gettyimages.com

Leicester are the Premier League’s top scorers so far in the Premier League with 32 goals and after Saturday’s comfortable victory at Swansea City they went two points clear at the top of the table. Vardy and Mahrez have scored 24 of the goals, which incredibly is more than 14 top flight sides have managed as a team.

These two players have certainly reaped the rewards and acclaim on behalf of the Leicester team because they epitomise everything about the Foxes. Vardy and Mahrez may be either scoring or creating the goals but this is reflective of the whole team’s spirit and character; the key to which has been a quality style of football combined with intense pressing and counter-attacking play. While the whole team is playing in this manner, the sky is the limit for Leicester this season but they just need to get through a tough run of December fixtures.

It is difficult to see how Vardy and Mahrez can be stopped at the moment, as Premier League opposition are struggling to keep one of them quiet, let alone both. Providing there are no injuries in the team and the spirit continues to shine through, both players could achieve remarkable records by the end of the season and the Leicester fans can only dream of what this will mean for their final league position.

In terms of the comparison to past duos, Vardy and Mahrez certainly have similar characteristics and attributes. Mahrez couldn’t be any better technically and he is being compared with the likes of Lionel Messi regarding successful take-ons. His ability on the ball is exquisite and at the age of just 24-years-old, he is showing bags of potential. He would be compared to Bergkamp because of his skill and creativity, and if he continues to add goals to his game he could be one of the greats of the game.

Vardy on the other hand is a striker’s striker, with the pace to frighten any defence. After breaking the record he will be full of confidence and he will be looking at over 20 goals for this season, with 14 already to his name it should easily be achievable. Vardy is more like Shearer with the pace and chasing lost causes, but at 28 he doesn’t have the time on his hands to reach those heights. With at least a couple more seasons in him, he could still develop as a top Premier League striker in this form.

After both being linked with European giants such as Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and even Real Madrid, Vardy and Mahrez’s future at Leicester City isn’t set in stone but they should at least wait until the summer to see how they and Leicester finish the season. Everyone associated with the Foxes will hope to see the two in a Leicester shirt for a number of years to come, especially while the club seems to be growing stronger at an incredible rate.

If they can continue their current form over the duration of this campaign, they will no doubt be classed as the Premier League’s latest deadly duo.

Barcelona Blackburn Rovers daniel sturridge Dennis Bergkamp Luis Suarez Thierry Henry

About Mark Sheppard

I am an 18-year-old Journalism and Media student at De Montfort University, Leicester. I enjoy writing, especially about sport because my interests involve football, snooker, rugby, F1 and tennis.

Check Also

Will Nottingham Forest Stave Off Relegation?

Embed from Getty Images   At the City Ground, Nottingham Forest have beaten Leeds, Newcastle, ...