Saido Berahino earns first England call-up; Carrick, Downing, Walcott return

Saido Berahino has been in red-hot form for West Brom and England's youth teams

West Brom striker Saido Berahino could make his senior England debut next week after being called up to the squad to face Slovenia and Scotland.

Berahino, 21, has starred for England’s Under-21s for some time and scored eight goals in 13 appearances for West Brom this season -€“ a run of form that Hodgson believes has earned him a place.

"The reasons are quite obvious -€“ not only because he’s done so well for his club but for the Under-21s team too," Hodgson said.

"He’s been in good form and he has been in our mind since the last get-together. The Under-21s only have a friendly so I saw no reason not to bring him in now.

"There is no point bringing these players in if they don’t have a chance to play. He will hope to but he faces competition from the other strikers too."

Hodgson has also recalled West Ham midfielder Stuart Downing, who has not played for England since May 2012, as well as Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, who recently recovered from a long-term injury.

"Stewart has had a tremendous resurgence of form this season and last time we got together we seriously considered whether we should take him," Hodgson said.

"Now I think is the right time to bring him back and show us what he can do.

"Theo we have regarded as an important part of the squad for over two years but we’ve had the misfortune to lose him to injury.

"He’s continuing his fitness programme with us and we have to make sure he follows that but both he and Arsene Wenger are happy.


"I have told him I cannot guarantee him minutes but if he does well and feels fit then we can use him if we feel we need to."

There is no place in the squad for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge however, who is continuing to recover from a calf injury.

Hodgson said: "That’s never been a realistic possibility. He’s still recovering.

"Our medical staff have been in contact with theirs’ and I’ve left a message for Brendan Rodgers. He hasn’t rung back to counter that Daniel is not fit."

England face Slovenia in their fourth European Qualifier at Wembley on Saturday November 15 before a friendly with Scotland at Celtic Park on November 18.

England squad: Fraser Forster, Ben Foster, Joe Hart; Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Calum Chambers, Nathaniel Clyne, Kieran Gibbs, Phil Jagielka, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling; Ross Barkley, Michael Carrick, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott; Rickie Lambert, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Welbeck, Saido Berahino