Why Leicester City star Jamie Vardy could be England's secret weapon at Euro 2016

Jamie Vardy hopes to maintain his brilliant Leicester City form to earn a place England's Euro 2016 squad, but is earning a reputation as a secret weapon.

Released by Sheffield Wednesday as a youngster, Vardy's meteoric rise from non-league to England is the stuff of fairytales.

Before signing for the Foxes in 2012, the 28-year-old listed only Stocksbridge Park Steels,  FC Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town as his former clubs.

It was his fearsome goalscoring record of 126 goals in 184 games for those clubs which persuaded Leicester he was worth a gamble.

And he has proved one of the club's best ever signings, showing his predatory instinct, determination and supreme fitness translate to goals at the top level too with 32 in 105 games for the Foxes.

Meteoric rise from non-league to England

It has culminated in surprise England recognition which has seen him win three caps.

He came on for Theo Walcott in the final 10 minutes of Friday’s 2-0 win over Estonia and created Raheem Sterling’s goal and is expected to start in Lithuania on Monday.

With competition for places in any England squad always fierce, Vardy will have to continue his form in the Premier League to stand a chance of making it to France next summer.

He knows it too, telling the Guardian: “No one can take their place or their England shirt for granted. If I want to be in that squad I need to keep banging in the goals to make sure I stay in the manager’s plans.”

The secret weapon?

But he is already carving out something of a niche for himself and could well be England's secret weapon next year.

Even if he is a regular scorer for Leicester this season, come next summer he won't be the player England's opponents will be necessarily doing their homework on.

Vardy will still be something of an unknown quantity and while Hodgson will want to give him game time before then to see how he performs in an England shirt, ironically the less he plays the better things might work out.

His explosive pace and the way he runs the channels and his desire would make him the perfect substitute for tournament football.

Imagine playing against Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge for 70 hard minutes and then all of a sudden the whippet-like Vardy enters the fray.

International defenders won't be aware of the intricacies of his game and suddenly they are facing this relentless runner who is turning them around and having them running back towards their own goal.

If Vardy doesn't make the eventual cut, it won't be for the lack of trying.

But if he does he could prove a real game changer in France next summer.

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