In just under 9 months time the Euro 2016 tournament will be kicking off and after England secured qualification in the last round of qualifying matches the preparation for the tournament can get underway. Having played six league games however we find that our two leading strikers are yet to score a Premier League goal between them. So should we be worried about our striking options already? And which players can persuade Roy Hodgson to include them in his squads over the season and potentially even make France next summer? Well that’s what I plan to do here in my assessment of England’s forwards, with only one place to start, England’s all time leading scorer and captain, Wayne Rooney.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) – 50 goals in 107 games for England. History right there. Forget all the “yeah but who were they against” argument, forget the fact he has only scored one World Cup goal. Let us not forget that Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup goal in Brazil too and also the majority of teams Rooney managed to net against have also been the teams Cristiano Ronaldo has netted against too. So hold your horses, stop trying to diminish the legacy Wayne Rooney has created for himself over the years.
Yes, domestically he is yet to find the target for United in the league but he has the skill and mindset to score at any time. The hattrick away at Club Brugge just highlighted that he still has the killer instinct up front. At the time Brugge had gone almost a year without losing at home in all competitions and he almost single handedly left that record in tatters. Closer to home he bagged a very well taken opener in Man Utd’s Capital One Cup victory against Ipswich last night so for me it is just a matter of time before Rooney scores in the league and once he does the goals will flow. I think the introduction and sensational start to his Old Trafford career for Anthony Martial will only enhance Rooney’s influence this season as he has tended to play his best football when he has someone else hogging the limelight, just look at his partnerships with van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo and van Persie for proof.
Chances of making the Euro 2016 squad: His seat has been reserved up front with Roy, in a seat with extra leg room.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – The Boy Wonder has struggled to live up to his efforts of last season but for me it hasn’t come as a surprise. We all knew that after last year’s heroics he would either struggle or flourish in his second season as Tottenham’s leading striker, but after a very disappointing u21 Championship in the summer question marks are still hanging over Kane’s head. All you have to do for me is watch his performances to see that he is almost trying too hard, he is chasing the ball more and maybe feels the burden of being captain maybe? He is still a heck of a player and an unbelievable talent that England possess, nurtured correctly he can be one of the Premier League’s best strikers and I think staying at Spurs for one more season at least will help him. For England he scored in the games against San Marino and Switzerland and has looked the part in the international set up.
Like Rooney he hasn’t scored a Premier League goal as of yet but his performances have suggested that it will come for him in the end. And like Rooney I think he will benefit from the introduction of a striking partner who is taking the limelight off of the young man’s shoulders in Son. So I think Kane will be fine and will be in at least double figures come may.
Chances of making the Euro 2016 squad: Only injury will stop him making the squad. He gets a window seat next to Joe Hart and Gary Cahill
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) – Jamie Vardy is one of the most curious cases in English football today. The man who played up and down the divisions has made it to the top tier and is now exceeding all expectations with Leicester. He is now the most loved Leicester striker since a fresh faced Emile Heskey lead the line with Ade Akinbiyi. He is making constant impressions on the footballing world and as the second highest English scorer in the Premier League so far this season he is continuing his form for the Foxes that saw him earn his initial call up. If he and Leicester can keep it up then he should be fine and should go close for a spot.
Chances of making Euro 2016 squad: There are better alternatives but England fans love a hard working underdog. Would be sat at near the back with James Milner and Frazer Forster. Thrilling.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) – Arsene Wenger has been playing Theo up through the middle mainly in the Premier League this season and it hasn’t really lit the league on fire. It hasn’t helped when Arsenal’s defensive lapses and general performance levels have been nothing but average this season. For England, Theo has been proven in his performances but only really when coming in from the wide right. In all honesty its his best position.
Chances of making Euro 2016 squad: His seat is there for him but it has to be halfway down on the wing, sit him next to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raheem Sterling but sit Gary Neville close by to make sure they behave.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) – Sturridge has only just made his comeback from injury so it is too early to tell how he is playing really. Time will be his best friend over the coming months, game time specifically. However he is a proven finisher and creator of goals both domestically and internationally. For me if he can find some form and turn Liverpool’s season around then he will be assured a place on the plane for sure, and will be above the likes of Jamie Vardy in the pecking order. His pace and skill will come in handy when the tournament kicks off in June 2016 and he will provide England with something different in a front man.
Chances of making Euro 2016 squad: Sit him with the physio just in case. As long as he gets and stays fit he has to go. Him and Chris Smalling will be either side of Gary Lewin for sure.
Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) – In one of the saddest events to ever hit English football, even sadder than Gascoigne’s tears and the infamous missed penalties throughout the years, Danny Welbeck has been ruled out of action till at least the New Year. Not because he is one of the best players to ever grace an England shirt but because his record for England is exceptional. He has scored 14 in 33 games for the Three Lions but his most prolific years have come in tournament years. So clearly Danny Welbeck is going to come back to action in 2016, fire Arsenal to a resurgent finish in the league, maybe get them to the quarter finals of the Champions League, a possible hattrick of FA Cup wins and then he will fire England to glory in Euro 2016…..surely?
Chances of making Euro 2016 squad: The plane is currently boarding but he is still in duty free as it stands.
Saido Berahino (West Brom) – In one of the longest and opinion dividing transfer sagas the Premier League has seen in recent seasons, Saido Berahino tweeted that he would never play for West Brom again after feeling victimised during his bid to transfer to Tottenham. But Tony Pulis being the straight shooter he is has told him to get his head in the game in only a way Zac Efron can understand. The whole thing felt like a High School musical during the summer and now he can finally concentrate on his football. He is one of the outsiders to make it as things stand however, especially when West Brom haven’t really done anything of note this season other than push Chelsea a little bit close in the end.
Chances of making Euro 2016 squad: Duty free? Saido hasn’t even got through customs yet.|
Here is the best of the rest of the hopefuls for the England squad for the Euro 2016 tournament.
Charlie Austin (QPR) – Charlie may have missed his chance unless he actually moves to the Premier League in January. Not even at the airport.
Rickie Lambert (West Brom) – Like Austin may have missed his chance to make a real impact. Needs to improve at West Brom or will just be an after thought. He will be watching England’s first game, on TV at home.
Andy Carroll (West Ham) – Will need to stage a bigger comeback than The Rock returning to host Wrestlemania 27 in 2011. Like Arsene Wenger I can’t see it.
Peter Crouch (Stoke City) – Unfortunately the big man’s best England days are behind him but wouldn’t we all love to see the robot after a Crouch goal for England again?
Jermaine Defoe (Sunderland) – The journeyman that is Defoe will have his passport out on the side in case he is needed but with Sunderland’s poor start to the season his PA won’t be worried about having to scramble around to pack his bag for him.
Danny Ings (Liverpool) – For me, right now. One of two dark horses to make it into the squad, like Sturridge he will need to help change Liverpool’s fortunes however he would be behind too many in the pecking order for both club and country on paper.
James Wilson (Manchester United) – The biggest outsider of them all but if he can replicate his form for the u21s for both United and England wherever he ends up playing this season then he could force his way to a spare seat at the back. Very, very unlikely though.
Callum Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) – The second of the dark horses who has a serious chance of making it for me. He is currently the top English scorer in the Premier League and realistically it will be mainly down to him if the Cherries were to stay up this season, if they do he will be in Roy’s mind and considering Roy likes to be the manager to pick players in form then Wilson must be in with a shout. In fact I think he just walked into duty free with Danny Welbeck.
Got an opinion on my summaries on England’s current striking options for Euro 2016 or have any alternatives? Tweet us @SevernSport