Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe is firing on all cylinders once again in the Premier League and with the Euro 2016 just over the horizon, he’s giving Roy Hodgson a selection headache ahead of the final squad announcement.
Defoe has been a household name in the Premier League for more than a decade and at the age of 33, he’s still proving he has the goalscoring touch which can be hard to come by.
The former Portsmouth, Tottenham and West Ham striker is firing Sunderland to safety at the back-end of this season with the Black Cats attempting another last-minute clamber out of the bottom three. The 33-year-old has 18 goals in 33 games so far this season.
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Defoe last represented England in 2013 before he was controversially left out of the 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup, a decision he said he would “never be at peace with”.
Roy Hodgson now has a real dilemma on his hands with Danny Welbeck looking a doubt for next month’s tournament and Defoe is among those staking their claim to be included in the final squad.
There’s little doubt that while England have quality throughout their squad with in-form players such as Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane but players like Defoe are hard to come by, the natural scoring ability he possesses can’t be undervalued.
It’s easy to cite the poacher's age as an issue but he's proved time and time again this season that it isn't holding him back and given the choice between in-form Defoe and out of form Walcott, there should be an easy choice to make.
Hodgson will likely take five strikers to France for the Euro 2016 campaign and it’s probably time Wayne Rooney was taken as a midfielder rather than a striker, given the position he plays in club football. The five strikers then pick themselves; Vardy, Sturridge, Kane, Defoe, Welbeck (Walcott if injured).
Roy Hodgson has some big decisions to make over the next few weeks but he needs to pick in-form players rather than young players who are painfully inconsistent for their clubs.