If England against Germany in Berlin last March, speaking of the emergence of a generation of strikers who could be wearing to glory in Euro 2016 was a bit far-fetched. Danny Welbeck is causing problems with his pace and movement, with Harry Kane pulled out a Cruyff turn in front of his goal and Jamie Vardy scored with a brilliant strip, four minutes after coming off the bench. Roy Hodgson had an embarrassment of riches up front. Wayne Rooney was still on the return from injury of Daniel Sturridge was fit, finally, and Marcus Rashford turned to prominence at Manchester United.
The reality soon gave that optimism lost a good shoeing, of course, and England, to Iceland in the last 16 in France. Hodgson is to the front, a total of three goals in four games has managed. Kane took a lot of bad corners, but he was still the future. He scored 24 goals for Tottenham this season.
But as an England test prepare for the Wednesday game against Germany in Dortmund on Sunday the world Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley stadium, your attacking options are looking a little sparse. Kane’s ankle injury is a weakness exposed in Gareth Southgate’s squad. With Rooney, who counted his days at the top, Sturridge injured and Welbeck recently back from serious injury, Southgate, again, only three to the front. One of them is the 34-year-old Jermain Defoe, who plays for the worst team in the Premier League. Who else is out there? Watford’s uncovered Troy Deeney, maybe, or West Ham is injury-prone Andy Carroll. Neither is a compelling answer.
However, the situation is not as bleak as it may appear at first glance. Southgate still has quality in attack and the potential for a lot of goals from midfield.
Jermain Defoe, The former Tottenham striker has not featured, to be for England since November 2013, and his career at the highest level seemed to be over as he is with Toronto FC in 2014. But he did not enjoy his time in the MLS, and he jumped at the chance to return to the Premier League at Sunderland, which is to save desperate for a strong striker before the descent, offered him a three-and-a-half-year contract worth £70,000 per week.
Have been eyebrows raised to give to the wisdom, a business, playing lucrative for a player in his 30s, but Defoe has paid more than Sunderland with 33 goals in 79 League. The last of his 13 goals for England came against San Marino four years ago, with his limited all-round play has held him back in the past and he is definitely not the future, but Defoe ‘ finishing remains as deadly as ever, and he deserves his recall.
Marcus Rashford, The 19-year-old has not quite been able to press the burst on the scene so exciting, the last season, and he probably would have been in the under-21s, before Kane injured his ankle against Millwall last weekend. Although it was a Lust for Rashford to reacclimatise in the younger age group before a summer in which the football Association wants him to play in the U21 European championship in Poland, it has also patchily for Manchester United performed this season and has not scored in the Premier League since September.
His finishing has lacked conviction at times. But the dull need to be made to run in the connection. It was always likely that Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival at Old Trafford would swing stable Rashford. José Mourinho sees Ibrahimovic as a mandatory pick-up front and Rashford has often had to be content with starting on the right or left side of the United attack, even if he impressed as the focal point of Louis van Gaal the tip of the spear after breaking into the first team last year. His talent is not in question, though, and his blend of speed, imagination and skill can Rashford is one of the most exciting prospects in England.
Jamie Vardy, the Leicester striker has regained his growl, “sniping” at best, as Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal last month, and has the strongest claim to leadership on the line against Germany. Vardy scored 24 goals than Leicester to the title last season, grabbed England’s balance swept in their victory over Wales in France last summer and converted a penalty in the 2-2 draw against Spain in November.
He has found out, it’s harder this season, but the decisive goal against Sevilla had a transformative effect on his and Leicester’s luck Craig Shakespeare replaced Ranieri next day, and Vardy has not looked back. He scored twice in the victory over Liverpool, terrorised Hull, Andrea Ranocchia, two weeks ago, and was a thorn in the Sevilla side when Leicester, the Spanish side to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. Samir Nasri is not a fan, but Vardy has to be mojo.
While England allow a lack of suitable No9s in the moment, their offensive Midfielders Southgate use a 4-2-3-1 formation. Dele Alli, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling are the most likely support cast for Vardy. Alli has almost played as a second striker for Tottenham this season, teeth skillfully with Kane and scoring 17 for club and country, Lallana has impressed for Liverpool and scored in each of his last three games for England, and Sterling is a way to reach double figures in all competitions for Manchester City. All three will need to perform consistently in an England shirt, but offer hope for the future.
There is not a lot of experience in Southgate’s squad, but he gives opportunities to young and unknown faces. While Mikhail might have Antonio, to withdraw from the squad after tweaking deserves a hamstring in West Ham United against Leicester City on Saturday, Southampton’s Nathan Redmond has his first call-up to improve his final product. Redmond is only 23, the same as Everton, the increasingly confident Ross Barkley, while Jesse Lingard, 24, has a gift of scoring important goals. All is not lost.