Kane looks set for England squad

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Harry Kane looks set to be included in the next England squad after Roy Hodgson hailed the young Tottenham striker’s recent form.

Kane was nowhere near the national squad reckoning this time last year, but he is now the most in-form English front man in the Barclays Premier League.

The 21-year-old has bagged an impressive 23 goals in 35 matches this season and his progress has not gone unnoticed by the England manager.

Hodgson is wary of raising expectation levels too high regarding the combative striker, but he admits that on current form he will find it hard to overlook Kane when he selects his squad for the matches against Lithuania and Italy next month.

When asked if Kane is ready to play for England, Hodgson said: “Yes.

“Is he worth a place in the squad now? Of course he is. We bought a lot of young players in during my time, we had Saido Berahino in the last squad. He certainly deserves a place in the squad as much as say Saido did.

“Is he worthy of a place like Wayne Rooney, (Danny) Welbeck and (Daniel) Sturridge? That’s something he’ll have to prove.

“But unless I give him a chance in the squad he’ll never get a chance to prove that anyway.

“I like to think I do show a certain degree of loyalty to players who have been playing for a while and who I know I can trust.

“But I also like to think that I’m prepared to give someone a chance when he’s really showing with his current form that he’s worthy of a place with us.”

Kane first appeared on Hodgson’s radar just under two years ago when he took charge of the England Under-21 team for a solitary match following the departure of Stuart Pearce.

Kane had to make do with a second-half substitute appearance in the 6-0 thrashing of Scotland as Hodgson preferred the likes of Connor Wickham and Jonjo Shelvey.

But the Spurs man is now streets ahead of those two in the pecking order.

“We didn’t select him as first-choice (with the Under-21s),” Hodgson said.

“But there’s no doubt he’s moved on enormously from there.

“I think he’s got the qualities that you’re looking for in a centre forward.

“If you can be a star at a top team like Tottenham at the age of 21 then you’re doing pretty well.”

Hodgson admitted last year that there was a dearth of talented young forwards available to him, which led to Rickie Lambert being handed his international debut.

But now the former Fulham boss has Kane, the uncapped Danny Ings – who Hodgson name-dropped at a briefing in London on Thursday – and Berahino pushing for a place in his squad for the qualifier against Lithuania on March 27 and the friendly in Turin four days later.

Fellow uncapped duo Ryan Mason from Tottenham and Liverpool’s Jordan Ibe are also in with a shout of being in the squad for the upcoming double-header, which is announced on March 19.

“Danny Ings has impressed me. I think we need to keep an eye on him,” Hodgson added of the 22-year-old striker, who has scored nine goals for Burnley this season.

“John Stones who is now back from injury, that’s good news for us. I am lucky at the moment, quite a few players have already started to make their mark.

“Ryan Mason another one, I like the look of him as well. Jordan Ibe is very young and we have a lot of young players like that he would have to jump over. “

The emergence of the likes of Ings, Kane and Berahino puts Wayne Rooney’s role within the team under more scrutiny.

Rooney, England’s third-highest scorer of all time, has been playing in centre midfield for Manchester United.

But when he reports for England duty, he looks likely to be moved up front.

“I don’t necessarily think (midfield) will be his best position for us and I don’t have any immediate plans to play him there but who knows? I will never say never,” Hodgson added.

“He’s a goalscorer isn’t he? So one always likes to see one’s goalscorers in positions where they can get into the box and in and around the box.”

Published: Thursday 12th February 2015 by The News Editor

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