Belfast Telegraph

Roy Hodgson: Jamie Vardy is one of England's top stars

By Mark Ogden

Roy Hodgson has given Jamie Vardy his full seal of approval as an England striker and predicted that, even at the age of 29, the Leicester player has a long international career ahead of him.

Vardy scored the first two goals of his England career during last Saturday's 3-2 victory away to Germany and Tuesday's 2-1 Wembley defeat against Holland.

The former Fleetwood Town striker now appears to be vying with England captain Wayne Rooney for the chance to partner Harry Kane at Euro 2016, but after witnessing his impressive performances during the international break, Hodgson insists that Vardy has banished any doubts over his ability to score at the highest level.

"We're happy with him," Hodgson said.

"His task first off is to fire Leicester to a Premier League win, and that will be his major goal, but as long as he can keep that form going, then I'm sure he is someone we will be looking forward to seeing in an England shirt for a long time to come.

"He's 29, so he's not a youngster compared to the others, but he is very, very young in terms of his top class playing career and he is a very fit guy. He is not going to be burnt out at the age of 31, 32, like some fellas who, to be fair, get into the first team at 16 and have had 14 years of it. Jamie, at 31, will only have had four or five years of it."

Meanwhile, Hodgson has challenged England's players to excite in the weeks leading up to the Euro 2016 squad announcement. The England boss will name the players he is taking to France this summer on May 12.

"The question now is, (can) these players (be) taking their game forwards or continue at least with the quality of their game between now and the end of the season?" he added.

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