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Wayne Rooney

England should pick Rooney for Euro 2016 - Capello

8:08 AM WAT 19/04/2016
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The Manchester United forward has serious competition for a spot in Roy Hodgson's squad ahead of this summer's Euros, but the ex-Three Lions boss believes he must be selected

Fabio Capello believes Wayne Rooney is too important not to be part of England's Euro 2016 squad, despite his indifferent club form.

Rooney played a huge part in helping the Three Lions qualify for the Euros but faces a race against time to be fit and firing heading into the tournament after only recently returning from injury.

The 30-year-old not only faces serious competition for a starting berth due to the sublime form of Tottenham marksman Harry Kane and Leicester's Jamie Vardy, but also through a number of strikers strengthening their cause for call-ups while Rooney has been on the sidelines.

Aside from Kane and Vardy, who have scored 24 and 22 Premier League goals respectively, Daniel Sturridge has shone for Liverpool in recent weeks as well as West Ham's Andy Carroll, who has netted five times in his last four league appearances.

However Capello - who was in charge of England between 2008 and 2012 - believes Rooney is still worthy of a spot in Hodgson's 23-man squad for the Euros in France

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"He is important because it’s important to have him on the pitch because he understands the game well and he sets an example for the other players," the Italian said. "This is a very important role he can play."

Considering Kane and Vardy's form this season, Capello believes Rooney should play more of a playmaker role behind both men instead. 

"He is changing," he said. "He will play not like a first forward, he will be like a second forward and his movement between the line of the defenders is important and he knows that movement really well.

But Capello's main concern for England is the lack of quality defenders at Roy Hodgson's disposal, not who will fill his striking department.

"The problem for England is not the forwards. You've got a lot of centre-forwards - you need to decide which one you need to stay home," he continued.

"The problem is with the defence, the lack of centre-backs."