Chris Waddle believes Roy Hodgson should look no further than Troy Deeney when deciding who should replace Danny Welbeck in the England squad named on Monday for the European Championships.
Waddle, who was part of the England side who reached the semi-final of the World Cup in 1990, feels Deeney would add a different dimension to England’s attacking options and complement certain picks Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Daniel Sturridge. Andy Carroll and Jermain Defoe are considered the more likely options to replace Welbeck, who is out for nine months with a knee injury, but Waddle thinks Hodgson should go left field in his selection.
“I’ve been looking at it all week,” Waddle said on BBC Radio 5 Live. “Andy Carroll is in with a shout but the centre-forward I’d take is Troy Deeney. I watched Deeney [against Norwich] and he was absolutely excellent again. He’s different, he’s mobile, he’s got a football brain, he’s excellent in the air – and I mean excellent. He’s had a great season, in a team not expected to stay up, and led them with the armband. He’s got as big a case as anyone you want to talk about.”
Deeney has scored 14 times this season, including four in his last four games, and provided seven assists for Odion Ighalo. No player has teed up a player more in the Premier League this season.
“Deeney plays up with Ighalo, and plays as a ten, at times,” said Waddle. “He’s very flexible. He’s a different player to throw on. He links the play, is good technically and is excellent in the air, yet nobody mentions him. He’s been a massive player for Watford this season, and with no disrespect, he’s not at a glamorous club. If he played for Arsenal or somebody else he’d be on that plane.”
Danny Mills went to a major tournament with England in 2002, getting the nod from Sven Goran Eriksson for the World Cup in Japan.
“Chris [Waddle] makes a good point but I don’t think there is any chance Roy will pick him. Roy is very loyal to players and you have to think what he is going to do. That has to come into it.”