A major talking point before England embark to any international tournament is always which strikers should feature in the squad.
Age-old questions on playing style and current form versus previous records are often raised and at least one key figure is usually in a race against time to shake off an injury before the coach’s deadline for naming his squad.
Jamie Vardy is currently harbouring an injury, but there is no question that the Leicester City star is the man of the moment when it comes to England strikers. He has forced himself into Roy Hodgson’s reckoning with a superb run of form as he continues to hunt down Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for scoring in consecutive Premier League matches.
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That record aside, Vardy will be hoping he can maintain his impressive form throughout the season and avoid fitness worries to book his place in the squad heading to France. Looking at his rivals, it seems the Foxes forward is currently well placed to be included.
Wayne Rooney, all-time leading England goal scorer, talisman and captain is an automatic pick, as is Harry Kane who has youth on his side and has recently set about dispelling the myth that he might be a one-season wonder.
After that the options available to Hodgson begin to become less clear cut. Daniel Sturridge offers enough of the x-factor to be included if fit but there are huge question marks over the Liverpool man’s ability to keep out of the treatment room.
Theo Walcott is also a strong contender with his blistering pace and good recent scoring record.
Both Walcott and Sturridge have plenty of previous experience with England but Vardy’s emergence and headline-grabbing run of form means he should be at least their equal in the eyes of the man making the decisions.
It is then a Hodgson favourite that looks most likely to suffer as a result of Vardy’s inclusion.
Danny Welbeck’s absence through injury is severely hampering his chances of retaining his place for the Three Lions despite his most recent international contributions bringing widespread acclaim from both pundits and fans.
The Arsenal man is expected to be sidelined until the spring due to a knee injury. Jamie Vardy could be pushing 20 league goals by then.
Welbeck will know only too well that the memories of his fine performances will fade quickly amid the hype surrounding a new striking sensation. It is not just the current contrasting fortunes of the two that could to see Welbeck overlooked in favour of his rival.
The Leicester man is similar in many ways to his stricken counterpart. Both offer great energy and industry to the front line. The two are mobile, pacy and a nuisance for defenders. Either is capable of operating through the middle or from a wide attacking position.
Tellingly though Vardy is demonstrating a ruthlessness that Welbeck has often been criticised for lacking in the past.
There is one way in which the two differ greatly; Welbeck was schooled in the famous Manchester United academy and was tipped for stardom ever since being handed his debut by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2008.
Vardy meanwhile has only recently burst onto the scene at the grand old age of 28 having spent his early career in much lower divisions.
The former Fleetwood Town man is in the form of his life and this season could be his only chance to force himself into an England tournament squad. Right now he must be fancied to seize it.
Welbeck could of course still return and make a late bid for inclusion but the Gunners man has a mountain to climb if he is to rehabilitate himself into the mix.
There are no guarantees what twists and turns will occur for England’s striking options over the course of the season but it is certain that Vardy on his current form will be difficult to ignore.
Whoever Hodgson grants a seat on the plane, will however, be under immense pressure to perform after England’s abysmal showing at the World Cup last year.