Why not? – Roy Hodgson thinks Jamie Vardy can still do the job for England

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Roy Hodgson believes Leicester striker Jamie Vardy could still play for England at this winter’s World Cup.

The 35-year-old, who will face Hodgson’s Watford side on Sunday, ended his international career in 2018, having scored seven goals in 26 games.

Vardy remains the Premier League’s elite striker and continues to score goals, even if he has struggled with injury this season.

Hodgson believes Vardy’s pace is a unique asset and with the World Cup starting a week after a player has been in league action, he would be fit should another striker be injured.

He said: “Yeah, why not? The thing with Gareth (Southgate) and Steve Holland, they follow everything and everyone. They’re not people with an agenda.

“Like I tried to be England manager, you keep an open mind, don’t ignore anyone.

“And Jamie has one clear advantage in that what he brings as a striker is often very different to what other strikers do.

“Gareth will consider and think that, even if they don’t take him as the number one player, they can still use him in certain games.

“So it won’t surprise me for a moment. I don’t know if he retired forever or just paused for a moment.

“But I’d like to think they’ll keep an eye on him because he’s a good guy and a good footballer – and all good people and good footballers shouldn’t be left out of consideration.”

Vardy won his 14 caps under Hodgson between 2015 and 2016 and the 74-year-old has fond memories of working with him.

“I mean, Jamie Vardy is a guy who really looks like you can see. It’s enthusiasm. It’s work rate. It’s a wish. Talent, of course,” he said.

“I mean you don’t play for England without talent. But I found him very, very nice to work with.

“Unfortunately, of course, most of the time we played, his main strength, which is, you know, running behind people and widening the defence, we often played against a solid defense where there was no space to run behind.

“But he did very well, I think, for England. He scored an important goal for us against Wales, which helped us go to the next stage.

“And I found him fun to work with. I’m always happy to see him, because he has a smile on his face.

“And it’s really a compliment to him that – well, maybe a little bit as I said before – initially, I guess, means he came to the actual cauldron a little later.

“And he’s come in with that incredible enthusiasm and dynamism he’s clearly brought with him from the start. And that means he has a long career.

“I see him injured more this year. I don’t know the details. He could happily stay injured for this game, as far as I’m concerned. And I’m afraid he’s decided to make himself fit for it. ”

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