Kane set for England call

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Published: Wednesday 18th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Harry Kane looks set to earn his first England call-up on Thursday when Roy Hodgson names his squad for the upcoming internationals against Lithuania and Italy.

Kane has been in fine form for Tottenham this season, scoring 26 goals in 42 matches.

The 21-year-old is the top English scorer in the Barclays Premier League and Hodgson all but confirmed the striker would be in his squad for the double-header at a briefing in London last month.

“Is he worth a place in the squad now? Of course he is,” said the England manager, who has watched his team win all six of their games since the World Cup.

”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.”

Unless Hodgson has had a dramatic change of mind in the five weeks since he made those comments – and there is no reason to suggest he has – then Kane should be included in the squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley on March 27 and the friendly in Turin four days later.

Kane still had his doubters during the early stages of the season, but after scoring against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool since the turn of the year, there is genuine excitement at the Football Association about the forward, who only made a handful of league starts for Tottenham last year.

Kane is not the only striker to have caught Hodgson’s eye since the last international get-together in November.

Although he has not been as prolific in recent weeks, QPR’s Charlie Austin is the second-highest English scorer in the top-flight and could earn his first call-up on Thursday when the squad is announced at 12:30pm.

Burnley forward Danny Ings has been tipped to make the step up from the Under-21s after a run of impressive performances and Saido Berahino has done his chances of a recall no harm by scoring four goals in his last seven games for West Brom.

Daniel Sturridge is all but certain to return to the squad after missing the last five games because of a thigh injury he suffered at St George’s Park, which dented Hodgson’s relationship with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

With so many options available to him, it is understood that Hodgson is considering selecting a larger squad than usual.

Up to 28 or even 30 names could be selected.

Manchester United winger Ashley Young is hoping to be one of them.

Young was expected to leave Old Trafford last summer, but he has been one of the best players in Louis van Gaal’s squad this season.

The last of his 30 caps came in September 2013, but the 29-year-old hopes he can resurrect his international career.

“I will never shut the door on England until I am too old,” he said.

“The squad is coming up. I am just concentrating on things (at United) but if selected then of course I will be delighted.

“It is always an honour to pull on an England shirt and getting back in the squad would obviously be nice.”

Aston Villa’s Fabian Delph could earn a recall after overcoming a shoulder injury and Hodgson is also considering whether to hand a debut to Ryan Mason following his successful season at Spurs.

Mason’s team-mate Danny Rose, described as “the best English left-back this season” by his manager Mauricio Pochettino, could potentially replace Luke Shaw, who has struggled for fitness and form of late.

Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker is also in contention for his first England appearance since March 2014.

Ben Foster has been ruled out with a knee injury, so QPR’s Robert Green may earn his first England call-up since Euro 2012.

The only other English goalkeeper playing regular top-flight football, aside from England pair Joe Hart and Fraser Forster, is the uncapped Burnley stopper Tom Heaton.

Published: Wednesday 18th March 2015 by The News Editor

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