The clamour for Jamie Vardy to return to the England set-up is growing and it looks like it will only get louder based on the Leicester City striker’s current form. The Foxes star has made an electric start to the campaign and was once again prolific as he helped Leicester secure a 4-1 win against Leeds United at Elland Road at the start of the month.
Following that win in West Yorkshire, Vardy had been involved directly in 13 goals in his last 12 Premier League games. The 33-year-old, who has scored seven goals in his first six games of the campaign, was involved in three of the goals against Marcelo Bielsa’s side and now Leicester are firmly in the mix at the top end of the Premier League standings.
Not only are there suggestions Leicester could be in the mix for the title, for which they are 33/1 in the Premier League betting, but also that Vardy might not have played his last game for his country. The veteran forward has never officially retired from international football, but decided he would step away from the national side after the 2018 World Cup where England reached the semi-finals of the competition.
It appeared Vardy was eager to concentrate on his club career, while also allowing young English players coming through the ranks to have a clearer path into the Three Lions squad. Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has certainly thrived this season and perhaps he would not have had an opportunity so soon with England had Vardy still been in the set-up. Calvert-Lewin, who scored eight goals in his first seven games of the current Premier League season, has been seen as the understudy to Tottenham star Harry Kane, who himself is in strong form after overcoming his latest injury setback.
However, Calvert-Lewin has been untested in tournament football and Kane, as mentioned, has endured a history of injury problems. Meanwhile, neither forward brings to the field what Vardy can with his tenacious play, pace on the break and excellent finishing. No fingers are being pointed at Calvert-Lewin or Kane, but Vardy is a player who seems to be pretty unique amongst English forwards, and once again the stats speak for themselves with his performances this season.
Southgate himself has not ruled out a return for Vardy, and was asked the question once again about a possible return for the veteran ahead of England’s October internationals. After naming his latest squad, Southgate said “we know that Jamie is still around and we still communicate a lot”.
Obviously, there is a lot of football to be played between now and the European Championships next summer, but the form Vardy is in will increase the calls for the Sheffield man to be included in the squad for the major tournament. Southgate could well want Vardy to be involved and bring his unique game back to the national side, but ultimately the decision could come down to the player himself.