The importance of Jamie Vardy for England

With the European Championships just around the corner, the footballing world is gearing up for a spectacle for the ages with every competing country hopeful for success and every individual player hoping to steal the show, creating a moment in history. English football fans have spent the entire season gripped in one of football's greatest ever stories this season, that of Leicester City and at the heart of the tale has been Jamie Vardy. 

The underdog story has been told a thousand times, but never in the Premier League and certainly not on the scale of the Foxes Premier League triumph. Their success coupled with the impressive form of the Three Lions has seen a sense of optimism and confidence begin to form amongst even the most hard-nosed England fan. 

With the 23 man squad now picked and the final friendly just days away the country is preparing to enter 'tournament mode,' the flags are being put up, the parties organised but this is all normal, what isn't is the man that the nation are pinning their hopes to, Jamie Vardy. But how important will Vardy be to England's summer success? 

A new hero

When England's 2014 World Cup campaign came to a screeching halt there was a dejection and disappointment that hadn't been felt in so long as fans and pundits tried to figure out where it all went so tragically wrong. Two years later and how the tides have turned, Roy Hodgson has picked up the pieces and formed a youthful attacking England side with plenty of potential, but who would have thought that Jamie Vardy would have been the new England hero?

This summer, seeing a shirt with Vardy plastered on the back will become commonplace, the nation has fallen in love and it's with him and his attitude that hope can be found. For in Vardy there is a piece of every young footballer, every Sunday League player and every semi-pro desperately dreaming of greater things. He has come from nothing and risen through hard work and determination with a never say die attitude that England have sorely lacked in previous campaigns. 

Vardy could be an unlikely hero | Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Sport
Vardy could be an unlikely hero | Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Sport

With Vardy is something that England have never had before. A story like Vardy's seems to only exist in dreams but this summer he will put on the shirt and become the first ever outfield Leicester City player to represent England at the Euros and the fact he was never expected to be at this level is the exact reason he will succeed. 

Vardy heads into the Euros without fear, trepidation or worry, just a sense of achievement from the minute he steps off the plane and the idea that his fairytale story has at least one more chapter to be written, becoming England's new hero. 

How important will he be?

Crucial. That is the short answer at least. Vardy is set to play a major role in this summer's tournament and whilst the debate over whether he will start and if he will start up front may rage on until the first team sheet against Russia is announced there is no doubt he will have a significant impact. 

His lack of fear and constant hard work makes him a nightmare for any defender no matter how experienced they may be. Vardy will chase down every loose ball and prey on all the bad touches he can until he finds a chance, and when that chance comes he has proven he has the ability to find the back of the net.

Vardy's temper may, at times, get the best of him and that is something that must be reigned in, but luckily for him, he has a captain who also used to get a little hot headed that will no doubt be ready to have a quiet word in his ear. His relationship with Harry Kane whilst so far brief has shown glimpses of brilliance and with more training under their belts, the deadly duo will be looking to cause problems in the Euros. 

He might not have been bought by a club for a large price tag or be modelling the latest high fashion clothes, but that doesn't mean that Vardy can't be England's knight in shining armour, and this knight is ready to conquer France.