Leicester coach: Vardy should start ahead of Rooney for England

Wayne Rooney

A lot of debate has been going around whether Roy Hodgson should leave Wayne Rooney out of England squad for the Euro 2016 in France.

Leicester City’s assistant manager Craig Shakespeare believes that Jamie Vardy should start ahead of Wayne Rooney at Euro 2016. 

Vardy has been in sensational form this season, scoring 19 Premier League goals and has opened up his international goal scoring account after scoring in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Germany. 

Ahead of England’s friendly with Holland, the Leicester coach said that Hodgson should pick Vardy purely on form. 

“For me, he’s a certainty to go to Euro 2016 and a certainty to play. He must be a nightmare to play against,” he said as quoted by ESPN

“I would love to be in a position to choose between him and Rooney. My money, at the moment, would go to Jamie purely on form.

“When we brought him to Leicester we told him he had the attributes to go as far as he wanted. I don’t think he really believed it.

“We’ve seen him go from strength to strength, and I’d love to see him play down the middle for England in the Euros and actually do something for his country.”

It is an interesting problem to have for Roy Hodgson, who has said will pick his skipper Rooney to Euro, if the Manchester United striker is fit. But does Rooney deserves to be in the team purely based on form?

Hodgson picked four strikers in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and yet used Rooney on left hand side of the attacking midfield against both Italy and Uruguay. England lost both of them. Should Hodgson pick five strikers for Euros, it would narrow the midfield options in France.

Tony Evans writing for ESPN notes:

Even at the peak of his powers, Rooney was a player who needed the team to be built around him for maximum effectiveness. Now that he is in decline, it is not worth compromising the team to accommodate Rooney.

Having said that Rooney is still among the five best leading strikers in England at the moment. He has 51 England goals, compared to 24 combined from Vardy, Welbeck, Sturridge and Kane. He is the captain of the side and is respected by the manager and fellow team-mates.

At the same time, can Roy Hodgson leave Vardy out? The Leicester City striker, who was subject to a £30m bid from Chelsea last January, has done enough this season to warrant a place in the England squad, and his pace and directness adds a new dimension to the team, something Hodgson cannot completely ignore.

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