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Star winger compares himself to Premier League scoring leader

The rise of Leicester City scoring machine Jamie Vardy from non-league unknown to the Premier League’s leading scorer has been inspiring to some of his contemporaries. Among his many fans is Crystal Palace star winger Yannick Bolasie, who feels his own rise from the unknown to the starting ranks is comparable and thinks he can be just like Vardy.

In an interview with the Mirror, Bolasie – who played for Hillingdon Borough and the Maltese Premier League to start his career – believes he can bring the same kind of “hunger” to dominate the Premier League.

“What Jamie Vardy has done is incredible and puts non-League football on the map,” Bolasie said.

“He never stops running and the hunger is there. I definitely feel I have that hunger too. It’s what I try to bring to the Palace team, I think you can see that too.

“I played non-League up until the age of 18 for Hillingdon. Then I went to Malta, which is still pretty much equivalent to the non-League.

“The Hillingdon changing room isn’t like anything you would get in the Premier League or ­Championship! It’s a total different world, but I respect it and am happy I have come up that way. I learnt nothing comes easy and men’s football is a tough game.

“Even playing in League One, League Two and the Conference, it’s hard. It was really difficult playing in those leagues – I got quite a few kicks…”

Bolasie joined Crystal Palace in 2012 and has been their starter for four straight seasons. As of writing he has four goals so far this season, tying his career-high in the Premier League but still well-short of Jamie Vardy’s current mark of 14.

The star winger has been capped 24 times for Crystal Palace and scored six goals – four of them in the past year.

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