From holding little in reserve up front during the reign of Fabio Capello, who included Emile Heskey and Peter Crouch among his four-man forward pack for World Cup 2010, England suddenly seem to have more strikers than they know what to do with.
Such is the wealth of attacking talent available to Roy Hodgson that Spurs’ Harry Kane, scorer of 31 goals for the Lilywhites in all competitions during 2014/15, wasn’t even required for the Three Lions’ recent fixtures against Ireland and Slovenia, with the Londoner sent off to the Under-21 Euros alongside fellow young hotshots Saido Berahino and Danny Ings.
The latter, who will link up with Liverpool on his return after notching 11 goals in his first Premier League campaign with Burnley, is one of a few home-grown strikers over the past couple of years to have reached the brink of Hodgson’s side, having bridged the gap from the Championship to the top flight.
Reds hitman Rickie Lambert left it late to make his Premier League mark, debuting in the division for Southampton aged 30 just under three years ago, but the Huyton native’s fine strike rate of 28 goals in 75 top-flight appearances for the Saints over the next two seasons convinced his boyhood club to part with £4m for his services last June.
Ings, who is 11 years younger than Lambert, impressed enough during the Clarets’ one-term return to the promised land to earn the same move this summer, but fellow former Turf Moor favourite Charlie Austin’s 18-goal Premier League haul makes the QPR striker the most sought-after English centre-forward around.
Austin is being fought over by Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle after registering at least 16 goals in a league season for the fourth year in a row, with £15m thought to be the figure Super Hoops owner Tony Fernandes will do business at.
However, Newcastle may have stolen a march on their rivals, by a whole year, in switching their scouting attention to Watford’s Troy Deeney, as has recently been reported in the Daily Mirror.
The promoted Hornets’ captain has fired home between 20 and 25 all-competition goals for his side over the past three campaigns, and new Geordies gaffer Steve McClaren was linked with a £9m move for Deeney while still in charge of Derby in January.
Newcastle have reportedly handed the ex-England boss a £25m budget, and the Mirror speculates that the Deeney move may be a ploy to drive the price of Austin down, but McClaren is thought to be keen on signing the 26-year-old in any case.
The black and gold boys at bwin price up Austin at 1/2 to outscore Deeney next term, providing the burly Berkshire native finds his way back to the Premier League.