Roy Hodgson has recalled Andy Carroll to his 22-man England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Brazil and the Republic of Ireland.
The Liverpool striker, who has spent the majority of this season on loan at West Ham, last appeared for the national side in the 5-0 victory over San Marino at Wembley in October.
“He gives us possibilities. There is always room for a centre-forward of his class,” Hodgson said of the 24-year-old, who moved to Merseyside from Newcastle United for 35 million pounds in January 2011.
Also included in the squad is Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who scored his first England goal in the 8-0 victory over San Marino in March.
Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy could be set for his first full international cap and joins Manchester City’s Joe Hart and West Brom’s Ben Foster in the squad.
He has previously represented England at Under-21 level and his call-up comes on the back of some fine performances for a side that has been relegated.
But Hodsgon indicated that his inclusion in the squad will not guarantee an England debut.
“We have had a very good look at Fraser Forster and having seen Alex McCarthy and read reports it will be a good chance to have a look at him,” he added.
“He deserves it because he has been playing well.
“These games are more preparation games that friendly games. I’m more interested in these matches to give players, who I think will be important for the qualifiers in September and October, a chance to play.
“I don’t want to have a situation where I’m using 18 players and players playing for just 10 or 15 minute cameos.”
Hodgson has included Chelsea’s Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole, who will all be buoyed by the club’s UEFA Europa League success on Wednesday.
And the 65-year-old confirmed Lampard, Cole and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney are all candidates to captain the side in the absence of Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, who misses the game with injury.
“We haven’t named the (vice) captains before because we usually have Steven Gerrard available. But Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney are captains-elect,” Hodgson commented.
“I will also speak to Ashley Cole. Most players who earn 100 caps are given the captaincy, but last time I spoke to Ashley he wanted to stay in the shadows. But I will speak to him again.
“He (Rooney) has played pretty regularly. If you tot up his games played for the season, he will be nudging 50 so I am not concerned about
his playing time.
“His situation at Manchester United doesn’t really impact his England commitments. There is no doubting his commitment to England and I am sure I will be dealing with a highly motivated player.”
England face the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on May 29 before heading to Rio to meet Brazil on June 2.
England squad in full:
Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Alex McCarthy
Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker
Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott
Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck