Football: Hodgson names Saints striker in squad

England manager Roy Hodgson included Southampton striker James Rodriguez in his squad for the upcoming friendlies.

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Rodriguez received his first call up to the senior side for this month’s friendlies against Chile and Germany at Wembley.

His Southampton team-mate Adam Lallana and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson have also been named in the 28-man squad.

Joe Hart will continue as England’ Number one goalkeeper, despite being dropped by his club manager Manuel Pellegrini.

 

"(Manchester United forward) Danny Welbeck has been injured – I see in Rodriguez someone who could fill that Welbeck role," said Hodgson.

"He’s a wide forward who likes to go forward and attack people even without the ball and get in the penalty box."

Rodriguez, 24, has scored 13 times for the Saints since his £7million move from Burnley in June 2012, and has been pivotal to his team’s flying start to the season.

Midfielder Lallana, 25, last featured in the England squad on his only call-up in June 2012, although he did not feature in 1-0 win against Ukraine.

Hodgson added: "Adam was with us once a long time ago. We saw him in training, we have been following him closely and he played a major part in [Southampton’s] rise to the top. It was quite obvious we would pick him."

England Under-21 captain Henderson has been a regular this season for Liverpool, although he hasn’t represented the senior side since the defeat by Italy at Euro 2012.

Andros Townsend retains his place in the squad after two impressive displays against Montenegro and Poland, while Glen Johnson returns after injury.

Hodgson believes, despite several high-profile mistakes, Hart is still his first choice keeper.

"I don’t think he’ll start both (games) because it is important for me to look at one of the other two, possibly both," said Hodgson.

"But I can say Joe will definitely start one because he is our number one goalkeeper. I would guess more likely Germany than Chile, but I wouldn’t like to be held to that."

England play Chile on 15 November and Germany four days later, as The FA continue to celebrate their 150th Anniversary. In footballing terms, both opponents have qualified for Brazil 2014 and will provide a test for the side.

England have not played Germany since losing 4-1 to them in the second round of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Chile haven’t visited Wembley since 1998, when they beat England 2-0.

Goalkeepers

Fraser Forster, Joe Hart, John Ruddy.

Defenders

Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Kieran Gibbs, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders

Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere.

Forwards

Jermain Defoe, Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Daniel Welbeck.

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