Ahead of tomorrow night’s World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine, Roy Hodgson has made the surprise decision to bring youngster Raheem Sterling into the his England squad.
Following the news that Theo Walcott is suffering from an illness, the 17-year-old has been drafted into the 23-man team.
A number of fans have already questioned Sterling’s inclusion in the revised England team; the absence of Nathan Dyer has been a popular topic on twitter. This view has even been voiced by Swansea striker Danny Graham.
Regardless, Sterling will now be given a valuable chance to gain some first team experience at International level. If he does play at Wembley tomorrow evening, it’ll be his first cap at senior level for the Three Lions.
The Jamaican born player has already impressed at club level this season, having been a stand out player for Brendan Rodgers Liverpool side. Sterling has featured three times in the 2012/13 campaign for the Reds and the ex-Swansea boss has already revealed his admiration for such a young talent.
In my opinion, this is a change in the right direction for the England national side; clearly Hodgson is not afraid to take a risk by giving the younger, less recognized players a chance in the first team.
Before this, we’ve witnessed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making a similar transition, yet instantly he looks at home amongst the more experienced players. I already consider the Ox one of England’s key players.
It’ll be interesting to see how Sterling performs if he features tomorrow evening. I’m fairly sure he won’t make the starting line-up, but he’s likely to make an appearance in the second half as long as everything goes to plan.
Already he has been congratulated by a number of fellow professionals for receiving his first call up to the national squad. Hopefully this will be first game of a long and successful spell for the Three Lions.