England boss to contact FIFA to clarify defender's eligibility
Roy Hodgson is ready to contact FIFA for approval to select Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson for England.
Gunners right-back Jenkinson has informed Hodgson he wants to be considered for Three Lions duty instead of Finland.
The 20-year-old defender, who was born in Harlow but has a Finnish mother, has played for Finland Under-21s and U19s.
But he has also turned out for England U17s and is still eligible for both countries having not played a competitive match for either.
Hodgson has not hidden his admiration for Jenkinson’s qualities and he was a strong contender for the current England squad having produced some excellent performances for Arsenal this season.
But although he opted not to include Jenkinson in the end, Hodgson did invite him to join the squad in a training session at London Colney on Sunday when Kyle Walker
was temporarily unavailable with a calf problem.
Hodgson said: "We had a problem with Kyle and wanted a full complement in our training session, so we called Carl up. He was in my thoughts anyway.
“I invited him to train with us knowing full well he couldn't take part in this game and that gave me the opportunity to sit him down and ask him in the question.
"I don't want to trick him to play for England with a few minutes in a game to 'block' you.
“But he had to make a decision because we're very interested in him even if the competition is tougher to get him into the England team rather than the Finland team.
“He made it very clear he wanted to play in England. We are now making overtures to FIFA to try and make certain we can have him as an England player.”