Saturday, April 20, 2019

Kane confident Hudson-Odoi will shine for England

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Mar 2019

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Harry Kane does not think Callum Hudson-Odoi’s relative lack of Premier League experience will stop him from shining for England.

Teenage Chelsea winger Hudson-Odi was called into Gareth Southgate’s squad on Monday following Luke Shaw’s withdrawal through injury, despite never starting a top-flight league game.

However, the 18-year-old has featured regularly during the Blues’ run to the Europe League quarter-finals this season and helped them to the EFL Cup final amid sustained transfer interest from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

“Everyone has a different path to the top, mine was going out on loan and trying to get that experience,” England captain Kane told a news conference, reflecting on his temporary stints away from Tottenham at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester City.

“Callum has had a taste of cup competitions and a little bit in the Premier League.

“I’m sure he wants to play and gain that experience at the highest level. We’ll see how he progresses over the next few years or so – whether he does that where he is now, or if he does that maybe on loan or with another team.

“It’s vital for young players coming through to play and get the experience. Everyone knows he’s a fantastic player. In football you go through ups and downs and that’s all part of the journey.

“I’m sure he’ll experience that over the next few years but I’ve no doubt that he’s got the ability to play at the highest level.”

Kane reported Hudson-Odoi had been enjoying himself with a few goals on the St George’s Park training pitches, while Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho caught the eye with a Panenka penalty at the end of Tuesday’s session.

“The youth aren’t scared to go and express themselves and play one-v-one – especially the attacking players, trying their skills, trying to score goals,” Kane said.

“That’s what we want. As an England team we want to have that flair and that flexibility. It’s a great sign in this country that we are producing these kind of players.”

Another uncapped player alongside Hudson-Odoi is Declan Rice after the West Ham midfielder opted to change his international allegiance to England from the Republic of Ireland, for whom he played three friendlies.

“I’m sure it was a tough one for him. I’ve been talking to him over the last couple of days and he seems like a great lad. He’s been having a great season with West Ham,” said Kane, whose father’s family made him eligible for Ireland.

“I can tell by being with him for a couple of days that he will give everything for this country.”

Kane added: “My situation was a bit different. My Nan and Grandad were Irish on my Dad’s side of the family.

“I had that decision but it never really came about. As I stated playing in the Premier League, the England call up didn’t come too far after that.

“I always wanted to play for England. My dream was to play for England and thankful that worked out.”

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