Fonte backs Rodriguez for World Cup spot

Jay Rodriguez should be in England's FIFA World Cup squad after an impressive campaign for Southampton, according to team-mate Jose Fonte.

Rodriguez has scored 11 Premier League goals under Mauricio Pochettino this season, only Daniel Sturridge has more among fellow Englishmen.

The 24-year-old's form caught the eye of Roy Hodgson earlier in the campaign and Rodriguez has been involved in the last two England squads, making his debut in November's 2-0 defeat to Chile.

With Hodgson due to name his squad for the finals in June, Fonte is convinced that Rodriguez should be one of England's leading striking options.

"Definitely (he should go to Brazil)," Fonte told The Daily Echo. "If you give him confidence, like this manager (Pochettino) does, and if you trust him, he'll cause problems.

"He showed his pace, his desire, and he wants to be there in the World Cup, he wants to be in the squad.

"I know he plays on the left, but the gaffer gives him a lot of freedom.

"He can drift into the middle and he's been scoring his goals.

"Hopefully he can score a few more (goals) until the end of the season and be on the plane to Brazil."

Rodriguez is one of four players benefitting from Southampton's impressive form this season, with Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw also battling for places in the World Cup squad.