Former Leicester City winger Matt Piper fears Jamie Vardy’s career at the top level is “on the downhill”.
The Foxes striker has scored three goals this season, with only one of those coming in the Premier League.
Piper told BBC Radio Leicester’s When You’re Smiling podcast that Vardy needs a goal to boost his confidence, but based on current form there isn’t any evidence of that.
Reflecting on the 36-year-old’s performance in Saturday’s draw against Brighton, Piper said: “When he left the action, it was probably 10 or 15 minutes too late. He worked hard, lacked quality, lacked confidence and he needs a goal.
“I’d like to see if he scores a goal how that may change his mentality and his confidence levels. Every season he generally starts slow – I think he has done for the past four years.
“I don’t know if it suits him being in and out of the team, changing for away games and at home. Clearly, that’s going to be really difficult to manage because he is getting older. You can’t leave him in the side all the time and you have to freshen it up with Patson Daka from time to time, but I don’t know if he needs a run of games or a goal as I say.
“Hopefully it’s not the beginning of the end – but it may be. 36 years old, you never know. I think he needs the goal to see how that changes performance levels, but the quality isn’t there at the minute.
“I don’t want it to be over yet, but I haven’t seen anything this season.
“It’s horrible to talk like this. But I am in this position to give my honest opinion, and I haven’t seen any evidence to say he isn’t on the downhill in his career.”