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Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has come to the defence of his former club teammate Danny Drinkwater, insisting the Chelsea midfielder hasn’t deserted his country.

Drinkwater was handed an invitation to the England national team, but he chose to remain with Chelsea as he looks to fully recover from the injury that has hampered his Chelsea career.

Drinkwater has been criticised since declining the chance to join England squad, but Vardy reckons his former Leicester team-mate hasn’t turned his back on England.

“I think he definitely wants to play for his country,” said Vardy.

“He has been struggling to get a bit of match time. He was injured and he needs to get the match sharpness back.

“He has been doing that in recent weeks for Chelsea and he needs to keep building that up.”

It is unclear if Southgate will include Drinkwater in his squad in March for proposed friendlies against Holland and Italy.

However, Vardy admits the onus is on Drinkwater to show the manager he deserves to be recalled back to the squad.

“He definitely has a chance of coming back,” said Vardy.

“If he is playing the best he can then why not?

“He should be in with a shot, but it’s down to him to make sure he puts the performances in.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.