Sunderland’s leading goalscorer Jermain Defoe would be a “very good option” for Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 England squad, says his manager Sam Allardyce.
The 33-year-old scored his 15th Premier League goal for struggling Sunderland in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Chelsea.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane (25) and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (24) are the only Englishmen with more top flight goals this season.
“He can still do it at the highest level,” Allardyce told BBC Sport.
“His record tells Roy that if he needs to score goals at the Euros, Jermain Defoe is there,” added Allardyce. “If he needs the option, Jermain Defoe is a very good option for him.”
Defoe’s winner at the Stadium of Light means a victory at home to Everton on Wednesday (19:45 BST) would guarantee the Black Cats’ survival.
The former West Ham and Spurs striker has now scored 15 of Sunderland’s 40 league goals this season, and his goals have earned 14 of their 35 points. He has 18 strikes in all competitions.
Hodgson names his 23-man squad for Euro 2016 on Thursday, with doubts over the fitness of Arsenal’s Danny Wellbeck.
Kane, Vardy, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge are expected to figure, with Arsenal forward Theo Walcott also in contention.
Defoe has 55 senior England caps but his last appearance was as a substitute in a 2-0 friendly defeat by Chile at Wembley in November 2013.
Allardyce added: “For the first time in a few years, he has consistently played week in, week out and delivered for us at Sunderland. He has delivered in a position people questioned whether he could deliver in, which is central striker on his own.”