Leicester City and Jamie Vardy have made a marvellous start to the new Premier League season, but can the former Fleetwood Town man force his way into England’s squad for Euro 2016?
Vardy has been in terrific form, and currently is the most prolific English striker, ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Daniel Sturridge.
Since arriving from Fleetwood it hasn’t been easy for Vardy, up to now his form has yo-yoed and it looked like he couldn’t deliver goals on a regular basis.
But this season the penny has dropped, he looks accustomed to the rigours of Premier League football, and in the process has established himself as a firm fan favourite amongst the Foxes faithful.
George Evans, a Leicester season-ticket holder for five years said: “Together with the goals, his work rate is incredible, and that’s probably the overriding reason why Leicester fans rated him even when he wasn’t scoring.”
To date Leicester’s go-to man has nine goals from nine games played. It is good reading if you are a Leicester fan.
Coming into the season Leicester were tipped for a return to the Championship, as Nigel Pearson departed the club and combined with that ill-fated pre-season trip to Thailand it looked like incoming manager Claudio Ranieri would have his work cut out.
And we cannot forget that the man of the moment Vardy was in a bit of bother himself at the start of the season, after he was caught up in a race row.
But since then he has apologised and let his football do the talking, and thankfully for Ranieri it has meant his transition as Foxes boss has been a smooth one.
George feels it’s his all-action approach which makes him different to other forwards in the league: “He chases everything and scares his opposition defenders. He offers something which not a lot of other strikers in the premier league offer, raw pace, tenacity and workmanship combined.”
The Foxes are currently flying high in fifth place and they are threatening to be the surprise package of the season if they keep their current form up.
Vardy: From non-league to England elect?
Vardy started from humble beginnings in the football world very similar to Charlie Austin. At 16 he was let go from his boyhood club Sheffield Wednesday for being too small, and had to settle for making a living in non-league.
Vardy was at Stocksbridge Park Steels first, he then moved onto Halifax Town, and finally he got his break in the Football league with Fleetwood Town.
After impressing in the lower reaches of English football, Leicester took a punt on him for £1m and right now it was a gamble worth taking as he is repaying Leicester tenfold.
If you take a quick glance at the stats you will see that Vardy is first in goals, shots on target, shot conversion, chances created and touches in the opposition box, there is no denying he is the in-form man in the Premier League at the moment.
But could his red-hot form reward him with a place in Hodgson’s team for Euro 2016?
It’s a question that will be on many a fans lip now that England have qualified for the tournament in France next summer in unbeaten fashion.
And if the squad was announced today you would assume Vardy would be one of the first names on plane, but it’s not and we will have to wait till next May to see who makes the cut.
It’s not to say Vardy won’t make the cut, if he can score upwards of 15 goals this season, he would have surely of merited his place in the squad.
George is unsure whether Vardy would get the chance to mix it on the international stage, he said: “My head says that no matter what he does, he’ll never start in important games for England.”
He went on to say: “I think he’ll go to Euro 2016 if he scores 15/20+ this season, which looks very realistic currently, but I think Roy is too stubborn to start him instead of Rooney, Kane, Walcott or Sturridge, even if he ends up having a much better year.”
He has had a taste of international football as was included in England’s final squad for their remaining Euro qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania.
He started against the latter in Vilnius and against Estonia Vardy set-up Raheem Sterling’s second goal. So he has made contributions which could make Hodgson think twice, before looking at alternatives.
Whatever happens for the rest of the season, Vardy has certainly forced his way into the reckoning for a potential England call-up, and considering Vardy’s journey up the football pyramid it would be an achievement unique to most other footballers.