Former England manager Fabio Capello believes Wayne Rooney deserves to get a call up for Euro 2016 despite his indifferent club form.
Rooney has scored seven times in 23 Premier League appearances for Manchester United this season, while the likes of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have set the competition alight with their efforts in front of goals.
Kane (24 goals) and Vardy (22) have led title challenges for Tottenham and Leicester City respectively, while Dele Alli (10) has also emerged as one of England’s brightest talents playing for Spurs.
However Capello – who was in charge of England between 2008 and 2012 – believes Rooney is still worthy of a spot in the 23-man squad for the Euros in France.
“He is important because it’s important to have him on the pitch because he understands the game well and he sets an example for the other players,” the Italian said. “This is a very important role he can play.”
Considering Kane and Vardy’s form this season, Capello believes Rooney should play more of a playmaker role behind the strikers instead.
“He is changing,” he said. “He will play not like a first forward, he will be like a second forward and his movement between the line of the defenders is important and he knows that movement really well.
But Capello’s main concern for England is the defensive players at Roy Hodgson’s disposal.
“The problem for England is not the forwards. You’ve got a lot of centre-forwards – you need to decide which one you need to stay home,” he continued.
“The problem is with the defence, the lack of centre-backs.”