Hodgson defends Shawcross call-up

England manager Roy Hodgson has defended his decision to call-up Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross to the national team.

The Potters captain has been named in the squad to face San Marino and Poland in England’s World Cup qualifiers later this month.

It has been reported that Wales were looking into the possibility of calling Shawcross up to their national squad.

Hodgson, however, is adamant that the defenders call-up is nothing to do with the possibility of Shawcross switching his national allegiance.

"It wouldn't be fair for national teams to 'sign someone up' and try and block them, knowing they don't particularly want them themselves," he said.

"I've called up [Ryan] Shawcross because he has a genuine chance of playing for us and deserves to be in the squad. Wales didn't come into my thinking at all."

The England boss has also confirmed his interest in the possibility of bringing Carl Jenkinson into the national fold.

The Arsenal youngster has been in impressive form for the North London side in the absence of Bacary Sagna and, despite the possibility of turning out for Finland, Hodgson again insists any call-up won’t be to deny their European counterparts the opportunity to pick the young defender.

"I am aware Finland are after [Carl] Jenkinson. I spoke to Mixu Paatelainen and he mentioned it. But he's on our radar and someone we're keen to explore," Hodgson added.

"Shawcross has been doing well for Stoke over a period of time and [Tottenham winger] Aaron Lennon has started the season exceptionally well.

"[Arsenal defender] Kieran Gibbs, like Jenkinson, has started very well for Arsenal. On this occasion, we decided to go with him and keep Jenkinson up our sleeves but he'll be very much in our thoughts when it comes to the next friendly match.

"After speaking to Arsene (Wenger) I am also conscious that his rise has been meteoric. He's only 20 and it's nice to temper things a little bit, but he wouldn't be out of place in the squad."


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