As expected, Harry Kane has been named in the England squad for their forthcoming two matches, and Roy Hodgson insists the striker has nothing to prove.
So impressive has the 21-year-old been this season it would have been a major surprise had he not been called up to the full national squad, having previously scored eight goals in 10 matches for the Under-21 side. Indeed, now Kane has been named in the squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and the friendly with Italy, there is sure to be clamour for him to start.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker has scored 26 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions this term, and his 16 in the Premier League is bettered only by Chelsea’s Diego Costa (18) and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (17). It almost seem inevitable that Kane will succeed at international level, and Hodgson certainly feels he has already proved he belongs on the biggest stage.
“I don’t think he has anything to prove because to get into this squad he has proven that he has got the qualities we are looking for,” said Hodgson as he announced his latest squad on Thursday. “He is the right type of player with the right type of qualities and we know he is the right kind of man as well because we know a little bit about his character and the type of person he is.
“The thing he has got to do is play lots and lots of games. He has broken into the Tottenham team and kept people like Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado out the team. He has been chosen in front of them because the coach believes him to be the better man for the job. He has just got to keep doing that. You can’t say you’ve fully arrived unto you do it on a consistent basis.”
Other English strikers who have impressed this season are Burnley’s Danny Ings, who has scored nine goals for the top-flight strugglers, and Saido Berahino who has notched 12 times for West Bromwich Albion. And whilst both will be disappointed to miss out on the opportunity of earning a first full cap, they have been included in the Under-21’s matches against Germany and Czech Republic.
One player who appears to have ruled himself out of playing at the European Championships at this level next summer is Tom Ince, who has rejected the opportunity to link up with the Under-21’s. The former Liverpool youngster is currently on loan at promotion chasing Derby County from Hull City, and his decision to reject a call-up has not been well received by Gareth Southgate.
“I’ve have had discussions with Tom Ince and his dad over the last week or so and he has decided he does not want to considered for the Under-21s,” the England Under-21 coach said. “I have to say I was surprised. He has obviously been a regular for us all the way through the campaign. But he feels at this moment in time he has got some priorities at club level.”
Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)
Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)