Germany coach Joachim Loew is wary of ‘dangerous’ England striker Jamie Vardy and impressed by the Leicester City forward’s performances ahead of Saturday’s friendly international against the Three Lions.
The 29-year-old Vardy is set to face world champions Germany at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium after his 19 goals have helped Leicester top the English league table.
Vardy played for Stockbridge Park Steels, who play in England’s eighth tier, up until 2010 after being released by Sheffield Wednesday.
He moved up the English league system with spells at Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before joining Leicester in 2012.
Vardy made his debut last year then played as captain Wayne Rooney’s understudy during England’s flawless ten wins from ten qualifying matches for Euro 2016.
With Rooney injured, Vardy could well face the Germans and his performances for Leicester have certainly hit Loew’s radar.
“I think it’s spectacular how well he plays, he’s quick and he has an unbelievable eye for goal, he’s always looking to score,” enthused Loew on Friday.
“Containing him will be a task for our defence.
“We have already looked at the way he plays and he always plays from deep.
“He’s a striker who is extremely dangerous and we’ve been watching him.
“I don’t know of many players who like to find the space as much as he does and likes to go exactly where it hurts defenders the most.”
Up front for Germany, Loew says Besiktas striker Mario Gomez will start against England.
World Cup winner Mario Goetze, who has found himself on the bench at Bayern this season, will start against Italy in Munich on Tuesday, but will also find himself amongst the reserves for his country — at least against England.
“He (Goetze) won’t play from the beginning against England,” said Loew.
“He will definitely play from the start against Italy.”
Loew says the 23-year-old must talk to Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola’s replacement as Bayern’s coach next season, to decide where his future lies.
“He should talk to him (Ancelotti) about the situation,” said Loew.
“I had a long conversation with him about the situation at Bayern and he knows he has to improve.
“I hope that he will also be used during the important phase of this season for Bayern.”
With a crowd of around 72,000 expected, Loew trusts in the security forces, who are on a high state of alert in Berlin after the Brussels terror attacks on Tuesday.
“The topic has been all over the news, we do feel safe, it’s not just about football, but our entire lives in Europe,” said Loew.
“We all want to enjoy the game and I hope everything will be fine.