Manchester United's Ashley Young gets chance to cement World Cup place as Gareth Southgate finalizes squad
Versatile 32-year-old who had been in the wilderness since 2013 before a November recall is likely to face Holland and Italy
Ashley Young will be given a chance to stake his claim for a place in England’s World Cup squad.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate wants to call up Manchester United Star Young for this month's friendlies with Italy and Holland when he names the squad on Thursday.
Southgate already had him in mind before watching him at Old Trafford on Saturday, and his performance in the crucial 2-1 victory over Liverpool only reinforced his view.
The 32-year-old has been playing at full-back for United and has caught Southgate’s eye because of his versatility.
Young, who has won 31 caps, got a recall in November after four years in the international wilderness.
He still divides opinion when it comes to England, but Southgate now views him as having a big chance of being on that plane to Russia in June.
Southgate has also been checking on Burnley’s in-form keeper Nick Pope, his central-defender teammate James Tarkowski and Brighton’s veteran striker Glenn Murray.
There are also major concerns about England’s keepers, with Joe Hart struggling for form on loan at West Ham and Stoke’s Jack Butland also having a difficult season.
Everton defender Michael Keane has also been short of his best, while fellow centre-half Gary Cahill is not an automatic choice for Chelsea.
Southgate may name a bigger than expected squad on Thursday to allow him to look at different options, having already opened the door to a England recall for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.
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