Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy seem to have taken up the English national team’s scoring responsibilities quite well, but manager Roy Hodgson is not prepared to let that deter him from fielding Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney in the Euros.
Hodgson says that he will still favour Rooney over the others, because the Manchester United man is the England captain.
“I expect him [Rooney] to get back to full fitness. I expect him to start playing well again. I expect him to be on the plane to France and then I expect him to accept like all the other players in the squad that he will have to play well enough to get into the team,” Hodgson was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
The duo of Kane and Vardy have taken the Premier League by storm, being the two highest scoring strikers in the league with 22 and 19 goals respectively. The duo have also scored a combined total of three goals in England’s last two international friendlies. But, it seems likely that they will not get the nod, if Rooney gets back to fitness.
“He has certainly taken the task of being England captain very seriously. And I am certain that his major concern now will be to get himself fit enough and playing well enough so that he can come to the tournament in top condition,” Hodgson further continued.
“But I can only emphasis that I have no thoughts in my head at the moment of jettisoning Wayne Rooney. I certainly won’t do it because I fear that people might be thinking I am a cautious coach.”
Rooney can be used from several positions
The England captain is currently suffering from a knee injury, and it may take quite some time for him to get back to fitness. With Kane and Vardy in lethal form, it seems difficult for Rooney to jostle into the striker’s position. Also, with the likes of Danny Welbeck, and Daniel Sturridge coming back from injury, there is a lot of competition for the other forward positions.
However, Rooney has proved time and again (under former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign) that he can play in multiple positions, because of his high work rate. Not only can Rooney play on the flanks, but he can also operate as an attacking or as a central midfielder, if the need arises. This makes the Manchester United forward an indispensable member of the England team.