Hodgson predicts long England career for Vardy


Jamie Vardy will have a long international career despite breaking into the England team in his late 20s, Roy Hodgson has predicted.

Vardy scored in both of England's recent international friendlies, a 3-2 win over Germany and a 2-1 defeat to Netherlands, to open his international account.

Although Vardy is 29, Hodgson is confident that the Leicester City striker can remain at the top of his game for a few years to come.

"We're happy with him," said the England coach. "His task first off is to fire Leicester to a Premier League win.

"That will be his major goal and, 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's very, very young in terms of his top class playing career.

"He's a very fit guy so he's not going to be burnt out at the age of 31, 32, like some fellas who, to be fair, when you get into the first team at 16, you've had 14 years of it. Jamie, at 31, will have had four or five years of it."

While Vardy is virtually assured of a place in Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2016, the coach cast doubt on Theo Walcott's chances of being selected for the tournament.

"I think a lot of players have got work to do, let's be fair and it's going to be harder for players who don't get a chance to show what they can do because they don't make their club team," Hodgson said. 

"One can't deny that it will be even harder for them. For Theo, he, like quite a lot of other players, will have to try hard to get back in the Arsenal team, otherwise I will not be seeing enough of him.

"But we know Theo Walcott, we know what he can do and it will be a balance."