Tottenham striker drops out

Capello may not replace injured Defoe

May 18, 2011
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe is out of the England squad for the vital Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland, but such is the dearth of English talent, Fabio Capello is considering not calling up a replacement.

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GettyImagesKevin Davies is one of 14 England strikers to have played under Fabio Capello

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Defoe has become the latest forward to withdraw from the Three Lions squad, joining injured Andy Carroll and suspended Wayne Rooney as the absentee list for next month's qualifying clash after suffering a "small fracture".

But despite having selected a total of 14 different strikers during his England tenure, Capello is seriously contemplating not calling up a replacement for Defoe because he is not confident in the ability of those players available.

"Jermain is out of the squad, because his club doctor has informed the FA that the Spurs striker has a small fracture and cannot join up," an ESPNsoccernet source close to the England camp said.

"Wayne Rooney is suspended, Carlton Cole has a neck injury, and Andy Carroll is also injured, so there is nobody else really....

"We are thinking about a replacement for Defoe, but we might decide there is little point. There just isn't that many strikers to choose from and we have the strikers we shall need already in the squad."

Defoe's team-mate Peter Crouch, Aston Villa frontman Darren Bent and the recalled Bobby Zamora are the three strikers left at Capello's disposal, with Bent the man in the best form at the moment.

Gabriel Agbonlahor, Kevin Davies, Jay Bothroyd, Dean Ashton, Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Danny Welbeck have also featured at some point under the Italian coach.