Jamie Vardy names his toughest opponent of the season so far

Jamie Vardy

The Leicester City striker says Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has given him the hardest time.

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has named Manchester United defender Chris Smalling as the player whom he has found it the toughest to play against this season, according to quotes published by the Sun.

The Premier League top scorer has been a revelation this season for Claudio Ranieri's side, leading the top flight scoring charts with 19 goals in 26 matches and causing a hard time for every defence he has played again.

However, the 29-year-old admitted that there has been one player whom he has found it difficult to get the better of, naming fellow non-league-graduate Chris Smalling as his trickiest opponent.

Vardy said, according to the Sun: "On a personal level, Chris Smalling [has been my toughest test].

"He’s always tight and always around you to stop you from doing your bit on the ball or getting turned. It makes it very difficult for you to bring your team-mates into the game as well."

The Foxes striker still managed to get the better of the ex-Fulham defender when the two players met back in November, with Vardy scoring Leicester's goal in a 1-1 draw with United at the King Power Stadium.

There are certain similarities between the two players, with both having risen from playing non-league football to becoming regular Premier League and England stars.

Vardy joined Leicester in a non-league record £1 million deal from Fleetwood Town in 2012, whilst Smalling began his career at Maidstone United before rising to prominence at Craven Cottage.

The players will have another chance to test each other when the sides meet again at Old Trafford at the end of April, in what could be a vitally important fixture for both sides.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch