Wayne Rooney will not start for England at the European Championship in France this summer, according to Patrick Barclay.
Rooney is England’s record international goalscorer and was their top scorer in qualifying for Euro 2016 with seven, but the Three Lions impressed in his absence – the captain is nursing an injury – in beating Germany 3-2 in Berlin on Saturday night.
“I don’t think Roy will start with him, he’ll look to start with his best players and at the moment, that doesn’t include Rooney,” Evening Standard columnist Barclay told Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports.
“Wayne Rooney’s form has dipped, particularly at club level because he’s so far and away the most vital player at Manchester United and it’s no coincidence his form has dipped.
“Now he knows he’s going to have to up his game to get a place with England. It’s up to him, if he does it then he gets a place and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. That is exactly what Hodgson will be thinking, I can promise you that.”
Dele Alli impressed in the No.10 role against Germany, but The Sun’s Martin Lipton believes that is exactly where Rooney should start for England this summer.
“Yes I would start him and there are some good statistical reasons for it,” said Lipton.
“He’s scored 11 goals in his 13 games as captain and he was the top scorer in qualifying with seven. He’s also scored 36 competitive goals in 66 games which is a ratio better than anybody, with only Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker having scored more tournament goals.
“He’s England’s leading goalscorer of all time and, under Hodgson, he’s scored 26 in 36 games – that’s not a bad collection of statistics. He’s still a very good player.
“Before he got injured, he was playing as well as anyone in the Premier League and had an outstanding start to 2016, scoring lots of goals, playing really really well in a poor team.
“Personally, I would play him as a 10 with Dele Alli and Ross Barkley either side of him in a very narrow three. He’s still one of our best 11 players and he should be starting.”