Wayne Rooney ‘would have tried absolutely EVERYTHING’ to lure Jamie Vardy out of international retirement for England’s Euro 2020 squad in bid to form frightening strike partnership alongside Harry Kane this summer
Wayne Rooney has revealed that he would have ‘tried absolutely everything’ to convince Jamie Vardy to make a U-turn on his England retirement and return for Euro 2020 this summer.
Leicester ace Vardy, 34, enjoyed another fine season in the Premier League and has shown no signs of allowing his age to catch up to him, which led to last-minute calls for him to be considered for the upcoming showpiece.
Now, it has been confirmed that Rooney also believes Vardy is deserving of a spot in the Three Lions’ ranks, with the legendary former international even claiming he would start him up front alongside Harry Kane.
Wayne Rooney says he would have tried ‘everything’ to lure Jamie Vardy (R) back for England
Writing in his column for The Sunday Times, Derby County boss Rooney said: ‘One man I wish was in Gareth’s (Southgate) squad is Jamie Vardy. I would have tried absolutely everything to lure him out of retirement for these finals.
‘I know some people may be surprised at this, especially with the legal case between my wife and Jamie’s wife, but this is my honest football opinion.
‘He may be 34, but Jamie is still a brilliant player, who was involved in 24 goals in the Premier League this season and would have been a great asset – not only as an impact sub but as a potential starter.
Vardy enjoyed another fine Premier League season but will not return for the Three Lions
‘Look at how Kane has been playing for Tottenham Hotspur, dropping deeper and playing through balls – Jamie could have been running on to them.’
Vardy stepped away from representing England in August 2018, after occasionally featuring through the World Cup campaign that year. Shortly before returning home, the frontman told Southgate he was weighing up retirement.
The former Fleetwood Town man has 26 caps for England and was named in every squad from his first call-up in May 2015, up to him choosing to hang up his boots for his country.
Later in 2018, Vardy confirmed to boss Southgate that he did not want to be considered for selection ahead of international fixtures against Spain and Switzerland – and he has not featured since.
Rooney is adamant Vardy playing up front next to Harry Kane (left) would be a deadly pairing
However, his electric form this campaign at club level sees him firmly rank among the top English scorers, with his 15 goals and nine assists from 34 appearances in all competitions helping to push Leicester on.
Rooney, as part of the same column, also decided to touch on the importance of duo Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson to England.
Manchester United captain Maguire faces a race to prove his fitness with the Euros starting in just over a fortnight’s time, while Liverpool midfielder Henderson has been ruled out since February due to his own issue.
Rooney also highlighted the importance of Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson for England
‘Injuries are already Gareth’s biggest worry,’ Rooney added. ‘England have a good chance and will be very hard for any team to beat if they reach the last four, with the semi-finals and final at Wembley. But to succeed I think Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson have to be fit.
‘Those two plus Harry Kane are the spine of England’s team. Gareth needs them on the pitch. Those players being there allows Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and Marcus Rashford to go and express themselves, and every side has those leaders, those rocks, whom the rest depend on in a crisis.
‘In the case of England, if the going gets tough in a game, Jordan and the two Harrys are the ones all the other players will look to.’