Fabio Capello has urged Roy Hodgson to find a place for Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney in his England team ahead of the European Championships this summer.
Rooney, who has recently returned to full fitness following injury, made his first start since February in Man United’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend.
The emergence of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy this season has raised doubts over Rooney’s England place but Capello, who managed the player during his time in charge of England between 2008 and 2012, believes the 30-year-old should be a crucial player at the Euros.
“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,” Capello said.
“This is a very important role he can play. He is changing. 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.
“The quality of the England players is good. When they play in December it was easy for us to win the games. After it’s tired, tired, tired because I don’t know. If sometimes some really important players like Rooney is injured he will be at the top for the Euros – but the big problem of the England is that they are too tired.”
It’s a tough call for Hodgson to make. Kane and Vardy have been in excellent form for club and country this season while Rooney has suffered a decline in recent years. That being said, he was arguably United’s best player at the start of the year prior to his injury.
He may not be in the best of form but Rooney, his country’s all-time leading goalscorer, has an experience and knowhow that is unparalleled in both the United and England squad. Whether he starts in France remains to be seen.