Former Premier League striker Jason Roberts believes that Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney should play behind Liverpool ace Daniel Sturridge in England’s attack at Euro 2016.
Roberts was speaking to BBC Sport, alongside Graeme Le Saux and Shay Given, and revealed his belief that Rooney must play in a more withdrawn role for the national side moving forward.
The United star turned 30 last month, and his goalscoring form for his club so far this season has been poor as he has scored just four goals in 16 appearances in all competitions.
As a result, that has led to questions about his ability to play as a lead striker, and with Anthony Martial making a case to play in that position at Old Trafford, it could have an impact on Rooney’s position with the national side.
While there is still a long way to go before the end of the season, thus giving Rooney plenty of time to rediscover his goalscoring form and make that position his own, Roberts believes that Sturridge remains Roy Hodgson’s best option when fit.
The Liverpool striker has missed time again this season due to injury problems, but it remains to be seen if he can put those behind him and enjoy a strong second half of the campaign.
If he does, that would certainly make the decision more difficult for Hodgson, although it is also a case of seeing whether or not Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy can continue his stunning current form.
The 28-year-old has scored 12 goals in 12 Premier League games this season, but as argued by Roberts and Le Saux, his chances of starting for England will hinge on the game-plan and opponents. While he remains the best threat if England are playing on the counter attack, his threat is arguably less of a factor if they are looking for craft and creativity to break teams down with the likes of Harry Kane and Danny Welbeck also coming into the equation.
Much can, and possibly will, change before next summer’s tournament. As a result, it will be up to Hodgson to make the best decisions for the national squad and perhaps take it on a game-by-game basis.