How Do England's Strikers Measure Up

When England launch their Euro 2016 campaign, they will come face to face with the continents leading strikers. From Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo, Thomas Muller, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial, England’s potential route to the final will see them take on prolific forwards who are truly world class.

But how do the Three Lions own strikers compare with Europe’s elite? The answer is surprisingly favourable given their relative lack of international experience, with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy having plundered 49 league goals between them during the last campaign.

When England launch their Euro 2016 campaign, they will come face to face with the continents leading strikers. From Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo, Thomas Muller, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial, England’s potential route to the final will see them take on prolific forwards who are truly world class.

But how do the Three Lions own strikers compare with Europe’s elite? The answer is surprisingly favourable given their relative lack of international experience, with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy having plundered 49 league goals between them during the last campaign.

Kane and Vardy vs. the rest of the world in Numbers

These two are likely to lead England’s line in the opening Group B game against Russia, but how do they perform from a statistical viewpoint? Whoscored.com ranks Harry Kane seventh in terms of league goals scored this season, having netted 25 in total and just five less than Poland’s prolific Robert Lewandowski. Jamie Vardy’s 24 league goals see him ranked ninth across Europe’s major championships, ahead of strikers such as Antoine Griezmann and aforementioned players including Bale, Muller and Lukaku.

While only Lewandowski, Ronaldo and the incomparable Zlatan Ibrahimovic have outperformed England’s front line strikers in terms of goals, however, it is a different matter when it comes to assists. Vardy’s six assists leave him ranked 92nd according to Whoscored.com, for example, while Kane is left flailing outside of the top 500 after laying on just one league goal for his team-mates all season.

In contrast Euro 2016 stars such as Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo have set up 24 goals for team-mates this season, while Bale, Alvaro Morata and even Ireland’s Shane Long have performed better in terms of league assists.

Can Vardy and Kane link up as an effective strike partnership?

There is mitigation for the lack of assists recorded by both Kane and Vardy, however, as they tend to operate as sole, central strikers who are charged with holding up play, running in-behind and making sure that they are in position to convert the good work of their supporting players. The same can be said of forwards such as Lewandowski, Lukaku and Mario Mandzukic, who mustered 12 assists between them despite playing full seasons for their clubs.

With Vardy and Kane likely to play in tandem in attack, however, there is an onus on them to link well while creating chances and space for one another. Both will have to adapt their natural games to achieve this, but it will be crucial of Roy is to make the most of the fire-power that he has at his disposal. If they cannot learn to link and combine for the good of the team, Roy Hodgson will quickly need to alter his thinking and perhaps choose one of these prolific strikers to lead the line at Euro 2016.

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