Jamie Vardy is likely to find himself back on the substitutes’ bench for England’s third and final group-stage match against Slovakia on Monday, despite coming on to score the all-important equalising goal against Wales on Thursday.
The Leicester City striker, who has enjoyed the most remarkable season of his career, scored 10 minutes after coming off the bench against the Welsh and many fans must have assumed he’d cemented himself a place in the line-up for the Slovakia match as a result.
However, according to the Mirror, Vardy has been warned that he faces a return to the bench. Roy Hodgson apparently has one ‘private concern’ over the red-hot 29-year-old.
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So, just why - exactly - is Hodgson concerned about Vardy, the man who fired Leicester to the most unlikely of Premier League title triumphs last season and has scored four goals in nine appearances for England.
It’s understood that the England boss is worried that Vardy is only capable of playing in a central role. He wants his forwards to be capable of switching positions during matches and, for this reason, could even start Manchester United’s 18-year-old striker Marcus Rashford over the former non-league footballer.
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Daniel Sturridge expected to start against Slovakia
Daniel Sturridge is expected to get the nod from Hodgson for England’s last group match after scoring the winning goal against Chris Coleman’s side and could start in place of Harry Kane, who hasn’t looked himself over the past week.
Hodgson on competition for places
“I would like to believe that none of them are so arrogant that they sit there and think, ‘This lot can’t threaten me’ and their place is absolutely guaranteed in the team,” Hodgson said when talking about his forwards.
"I would be very upset if that was the case because I see them in training every day.
“There’s a lot of quality strikers, they do have qualities and even the young ones have qualities. The Rashfords, the Jamie Vardys with only four or five international caps, they have got qualities.”
He added: “Harry and Raheem (Sterling) did well enough against Russia, we played very, very well but in the first half (against Wales) they showed signs of wear and tear.
“So it was quite an easy decision at half time to change it. We’ve taken a lot of attacking players with us on this occasion so the options are there.
“I’m looking behind me on the bench and thinking, 'Who do I want? Do I want Sturridge on? Vardy? Rashford?' Can I bring someone on in midfield to manipulate the ball? — which I’m hoping in the future could be very useful for us going further in the tournament.”
Should Jamie Vardy be handed a start against Slovakia? Have your say by leaving a comment below.