After the FA confirmed that Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney would not feature in England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia on Friday, the big question on everybody’s lips was ‘who will lead Roy Hodgson’s attack at Wembley?’
The candidates are Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, Liverpool’s Danny Ings and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy.
Kane – the topscoring Englishman in last season’s Premier League – is the most obvious choice.
The 22-year-old from Chingford has not replicated his fine club form so far this term, but his England record is outstanding – three goals in just four appearances.
Kane’s 75% England strike-rate compares very favourably to that of Walcott, who – in fairness – has been used as a winger for much of his Three Lions career.
Walcott has only netted seven times in 41 appearances for the Three Lions – giving him a 17.07% strike-rate – while Vardy has yet to score in two outings for his country.
Ings is likely to make his senior debut at some point in Friday’s clash with Estonia, but it would come as a slight surprise if he were to play from the start.
Kane is much stronger physically than the likes of Walcott, Ings and Vardy. The Spurs hero is the only one of those four players who has the ability to play as a traditional target man – something Hodgson appreciates and could make good use of, especially with Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain providing expert aerial service.
New boy Ings scored four goals in 13 games for England Under-21s. Kane’s record at that level was vastly superior – eight in 14.