London (AFP) – Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers doesn’t expect Jamie Vardy to end his England retirement despite his prolific form this season.
Vardy has been linked with a return to international football after Three Lions captain Harry Kane ruptured a tendon in his left hamstring that requires surgery.
With Vardy sitting top of the Premier League’s goal charts with 17 this season, it would be natural for England boss Gareth Southgate to consider trying to tempt the Foxes star out of his self-imposed exile.
Vardy stepped back from England duty in August 2018, but Southgate recently admitted the 32-year-old is “a ready-made player who could come in if we felt that was the right thing”.
With Kane absent for the March friendlies with Italy and Denmark, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Southgate could lure Vardy back.
Rodgers, though, does not see that happening and he said. “Jamie has made his decision on that. He has always been clear and I don’t see that changing to be honest.”
Yet Rodgers has no doubt Vardy could still do a job for the Three Lions. He added: “The question is not whether he can play for England, he can, there is absolutely no question about that. It is whether he wants to.”
Rodgers has noticed the benefits of a fresher Vardy not being away on international duty, with the high-flying Foxes reaping the rewards this season.
“I don’t think it’s just the playing, but sometimes it’s the travelling. Sometimes when you go away internationally, you might not train as much, but it is all the travelling and everything else around it,” Rodgers said.
“It has given him a chance to refresh, spend some time with his family, do some work in isolation at the club, and obviously when we start back he is always fit and raring to go.
“Any player that gets towards that stage will tell you that later on in their career, when they come out of international football and they have that extra time to recover, that definitely helps them.”
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