It just wouldn’t be England at a major tournament without a major injury concern to a key player. There appears to be no respite on offer for Gareth Southgate at Euro 2020 as he faces the grim prospect of naming his final squad without the top class firepower of Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane.
Both forwards face a race against time to regain their fitness ahead of the European Championships which kick off in June. With Southgate mulling over this troublesome scenario, here is a look at five Premier League strikers who could step up to fill the void for him this summer.
At the start of the season, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s future looked murky, to say the least. Just 11 Premier League goals in three seasons was a meagre return for an out-and-out striker and his career in the top flight was in danger of serious decline.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 8, 2020
However, it is amazing was a new manager can do. Especially a top-class manager by the name of Carlo Ancelotti. Since the legendary Italian was installed at Goodison Park in December, Calvert-Lewin has bagged 6 league goals, taking his tally for season to 11 in 24 games.
Now playing with so much more composure in the box; the youngster is starting to show that all-important knack of arriving at the right place to get a crucial touch on the ball to covert the bread and butter chances that all strikers must thrive on. With Southgate fond of picking in-form players, don’t be surprised to see the impressive Everton forward given his chance for the Three Lions.
Southampton striker Danny Ings personifies his club’s renaissances this season. Following a crushing 0-9 home defeat to Leicester City back in October, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have climbed up the table and are now in the melee for a top-eight finish following their impressive turnaround.
Firing them throughout this run has been former Liverpool man Danny Ings. The 27-year-old is behind only the mighty Sergio Aguero and Jamie Vardy in the scoring charts this season and certainly possesses the right attributes to flourish for England should he get the call.
17 – Danny Ings has now scored 17 goals in all competitions in 2019-20; the most by a Southampton player in a single season since 2013-14 (also 17 – Jay Rodriguez). Insatiable. pic.twitter.com/6XAuj8L8aA
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 5, 2020
His ability to press high, coupled with a constant will to get in the box and create problems for defenders makes him an asset and worthy of consideration to lead the line in what is likely to be a front three for England this summer.
He will also be keen to add to his solitary appearance for England back in 2015 and avoid joining the infamous one-cap club. If he stay clear of the injuries that have plagued his career so far, Ings should be in with a good shout of featuring at the Euros for his country.
Arguably the most custom-built replacement for Harry Kane this summer is Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham. The imposing 22-year-old has enjoyed an excellent break-through season in the Premier League having spent consecutive campaigns on loan away from Stamford Bridge.
No player aged 22 or younger has more non-penalty goals in the top 5 leagues this season than Tammy Abraham:
Tammy Abraham, 13
Kylian Mbappe, 13
Jason Sancho, 11 pic.twitter.com/RsNcslB9wg
— chelsea-daily (@itschelseadaily) February 4, 2020
Pace, power, and excellent finishing has seen him fire Frank Lampard’s men back into the top four and the knockout stages of the Champions League so far this season. He has not looked out of the place for the national team either, with four caps and one goal to his name already.
Abraham is a bit of a no-brainer for Southgate this summer. Yes, he has not been quite as potent since his explosive start to the season, but he continues to score a healthy amount of goals and has the raw materials to become the best number 9 his country has to offer in years to come.
“If the worst came to happen and everyone was injured, then obviously I wouldn’t say no.” Jamie Vardy’s words as he announced his retirement from international football look somewhat more relevant this season. With Kane and Rashford both major doubts for England, is the time now right to go cap-in-hand to Leicester City and politely request Vardy to dust off his international boots for one last outing?
Top goalscorers in the Premier League this season:
1️⃣7️⃣: Jamie Vardy ???????
1️⃣6️⃣: Sergio Aguero ??
1️⃣4️⃣: Mohamed Salah ??
1️⃣4️⃣: Marcus Rashford ???????
1️⃣4️⃣: Danny Ings ???????
1️⃣4️⃣: P E Aubameyang ?? pic.twitter.com/8LHvkbrk5A
— Indy Football (@IndyFootball) February 8, 2020
The quality is still there for sure. Yes, he’s 33-years-old and already had an injury wobble himself this season, but Vardy thrives on the big stage and with 26 caps to his name already, he should have no problem leading the line for his country once again if Southgate came knocking on the door of the Premier League’s top scorer.
Before you all fling your rotten veg in outrage, let’s hear this one out at least! Yes, Greenwood is only 18-years-old and playing in his first fully-fledged campaign with the senior team at Manchester United, but that does really exclude him from consideration?
With Rashford out and United facing a battle for a top-four spot, there will be plenty of opportunities handed to Greenwood between now and the end of the season to impress and get his name on that final England squad list in June.
Mason Greenwood’s stats so far ? pic.twitter.com/6kHurJygSk
— The United (@TheUnited18) February 8, 2020
The teenager has been mightily impressive thus far with 10 goals in 32 games this season in all competitions. In a campaign of underachievement and over-riding negativity at Old Trafford, the youngster has been a resounding success story.
A killer instinct in finding the back of the net and possessing wonderful technical ability, Greenwood looks finely chiselled to thrive in a front three. England recognition is surely a matter of time regardless, but it might just happen for him this summer if his season continues on it’s upward trajectory.