Gareth Southgate says he has told Jamie Vardy that ‘the door is open’ should he wish to come out of international retirement.
Vardy told the Three Lions boss back in 2018 that he no longer wanted to called up for international duty. Since then, the 33-year-old’s form has been exemplary, clinching the Premier League Golden Boot last season with 23 goals.
He has started the current campaign in simialr impressive style, scoring four goals in his opening four games for the Foxes.
“We have spoken at various times over the last 18 months just to keep in touch. From my point of view just to reiterate that that door is open and my job is to pick the best team with the best players,” Southgate said (via the Daily Mail).
“He was the top goalscorer in the Premier League last year so my stance on it has never changed.”
Vardy earned 26 international caps before retiring, scoring 7 goals. He was included in the England squads for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup and was even supposed to take the last penalty in the Three Lions dramatic round of 16 penalty shootout win over Colombia in the latter, but was prevented through injury.
Where Vardy would fit into the current England starting XI is unclear. Southgate appears to be keen on using a 4-3-3 with skipper Harry Kane being deployed as a withdrawn centre-forward. Vardy plays a very different role, favouring playing on the shoulder of the last defender and using his devastating pace to get in behind.
Regardless of whether Vardy decides to come out of international retirement, he will not feature in the upcoming fixtures, unlike Leicester teammate Harvey Barnes. Barnes was one of three inaugural call ups with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bukayo Saka also in line to win their maiden caps.