Patson Daka has only played seven games for Leicester, but he has already won the admiration of arguably the two best strikers in the club’s history.
He and Jamie Vardy have developed a close bond, with Daka sending his game to Vardy’s model long before he arrived at Leicester, and the 34-year-old passing on tips on performing in the Premier League now that Daka is here.
And after Daka announced himself to English football supporters by scoring all four Leicesters goals in their 4-3 Europa League win over Spartak Moscow, Gary Lineker also joined the fan club.
Patson Daka is already impressing at Leicester and enjoying his best show this week
The 23-year-old scored all four of Leicester’s goals when they defeated Spartak Moscow 4-3
“What an achievement,” tweeted Lineker, who scored 95 goals for the Foxes in seven seasons. “Thanks and well played, young man.” Daka answered the compliment and added, “I will continue to do my best.”
Watch Daka’s goals and Vardy immediately comes to mind. The 23-year-old seems to run into space behind the defense and is always on the move. Although he lacks Vardy’s expertise, he is desperate to acquire it. “Jamie Vardy is one of my sources of inspiration,” Daka said.
You can see that in my playing style. It is very similar to his and it is a great privilege for me to work with him. He helps me a lot with my training and I learn more every day. I am blessed with this position.’
Former Leicester star Gary Lineker praised the Zambian international after his display
Daka models his game on Jamie Vardy and has described the veteran as an ‘inspiration’
Despite his special night, Daka may be back on the bench in Brentford on Sunday. Vardy has seven goals this season and is likely to be reinstated to basics after resting in Moscow.
But rather than hasten the end of Vardy’s Leicester career, Daka may as well extend it. Because if the 23-year-old can transfer his form in the Europa League to the national stage, Brendan Rodgers Vardy – who turns 35 in January – could use more sparingly.
Even for Vardy it would be challenging to start 90-95 percent of the games when he’s in his mid-thirties, but 70-75 percent would be more manageable. With Daka to share the burden, Vardy can thrive for a few more years.
Daka could play a big part in allowing Brendan Rodgers to rest Vardy for the entire season
The Zambia international joined Leicester for an initial £20million from Red Bull Salzburg, but before moving to Austria, he was part of a select group of players who had represented both Celtic and Rangers.
Before his first-team breakthrough at Kafue Celtic in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, Daka had a spell with Nchanga Rangers, about 400 kilometers away in Chingola. He wasn’t on the radar of leading European clubs at this stage, but that soon changed.
As their signing of Sadio Mane, Erling Haaland and Karim Adeyemi shows, Salzburg has an eye for an attacker. Daka was a star of the squad that won the UEFA Youth League in 2017, beating Manchester City, Paris St Germain, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Benfica along the way. After graduating from the first team, Daka exploded in the past two seasons, scoring 51 league goals.
“When I see what has become of Patson, who came to Salzburg more than four years ago as a shy boy, it is extremely impressive,” sporting director Christoph Freund told Sportsmail.
The 23-year-old came through at RB Salzburg, who boasts a stellar track record of developing stars
Daka has already proven to be a popular figure in the dressing room and could be a big influence
“Patson has always worked hard and improved every year. The highlight was last season, when he was not only the top scorer but also the best player in the Austrian Bundesliga.
“It will take Patson some time to get used to the Premier League, but he will make it because he has a great mentality and his quality, especially his pace, will help Leicester.”
Daka is already a popular figure at Leicester’s Seagrave training base, where he regularly takes part in matches with Kelechi Iheanacho and James Maddison after the sessions.
A recent one, hosted by Maddison, involved left foot finishes. Since three of Daka’s goals were with his left foot on Wednesday, he can conclude that practice makes perfect.