After a prolific run of form that has seen him score six goals in last five Premier League games, Andy Carroll is staking his claim for a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England squad ahead of Euro 2016.
The West Ham front man netted a superb hat-trick against Arsenal followed by goals against league leaders Leicester and then at home versus Watford to give the England manager a timely reminder of his abilities. Having managed to stay fit and put a run of games together, Carroll has found his stride again and is thriving in Slaven Bilic’s high-flying side.
He remains one of the most dangerous aerial threats in world football and presents a much different challenge for defenders than England’s other forwards. His presence and strength in the air and ability to hold the ball up are a nuisance for defenders and he could offer England an excellent option off the bench this summer.
Late in games, tiring defenders will quiver at the sight of Carroll preparing to enter the fray and he will be able to dominate players who aren’t used to having to deal with abrasive contact and the physical challenge that he presents. No other side in the competition will have an option quite like Carroll and as such, he may be the x-factor that England need to help them progress into the latter rounds.
The only question is whether there is room for him amongst England’s deep pool of strikers at this moment in time.
Almost out of nowhere England find themselves with numerous talented forwards with an eye for goal and Carroll may end up being the unlucky man left out. Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane pick themselves in the squad after similarly prolific seasons which has seen both men eclipse 20 league goals.
Wayne Rooney is the national captain and simply must go, and Daniel Sturridge is another Roy Hodgson favourite who has netted at a good rate when fit this season.
The likes of Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott have also been selected ahead of Carroll in recent England squads and it still seems like an uphill battle for the 27-year-old to make it on to the plane to France.
An injury to one of the aforementioned players is probably his best bet to steal a place, but with four games remaining in the Premier League season, he only has an outside chance to force his way in with further goals and impressive performances.
One thing is for sure, Carroll possesses a rare skill set that makes him one of the most dangerous impact players in Europe and he would certainly add something to the squad if selected. It may just be too little too late this time around for the West Ham man though, and despite giving Hodgson a real head scratcher, he will most likely miss out due to the excellent performances of his peers this season.